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< BackTuesday, November 19, 2019

Avira joins in the launch of the Coalition Against Stalkerware

It’s time to combine cybersecurity with victim support to beat back this threat to user security and privacy

Tettnang, Germany, November 19, 2019 - Avira is proud to announce that it is a founding member of the global Coalition Against Stalkerware initiative, joining with several security firms and victim support groups to educate, expose, and stop the use of Stalkerware. 

What is Stalkerware?

Stalkerware is a type of monitoring and surveillance app which enables a person to get access to their victim’s messages, photos, social media activities, location, and audio or camera recordings. Much of the time, these apps are installed on a device without either the victim’s knowledge or consent and run hidden in the background. 

Stalkerware apps are more than a technical violation of user privacy, they are used in real-life cases of domestic violence, intimidation, and stalking. While spyware is usually limited to nation-states with big budgets, Stalkerware is as accessible as a download site and a smartphone. This easy accessibility -- combined with a lack of legislative and legal awareness – has opened a pandora’s box of risks to individuals’ personal and online security. 

Danger hiding in plain sight

Stalkerware has been able to hide in plain sight because many of these apps are dual purpose – they have both legitimate and illegal uses. There are a number of apps that include these monitoring, recording, and geofencing functions, enabling Stalkerware to be marketed in app markets and via download sites. In addition, the lack of an industry standard definition for Stalkerware or a common detection criteria have made it particularly difficult for the security industry to communicate with the public and each other about this issue. 

“Monitoring software has evolved rapidly in past years, powerful surveillance functions have been added and the purpose of the tracking activity has fundamentally changed. The continuous surge in mobile device usage combined with a lack of legislative mitigation is giving people accessible tools to spy on spouses, family members or friends,” said Alexander Vukcevic, Director Protection Labs at Avira.


Greater security by joining together

With these risks in mind, the founding members of the Coalition Against Stalkerware have taken the important first step of creating a proper definition and reaching a consensus on detection criteria.

“The Coalition Against Stalkerware is a great example of how cooperation can make online life more secure for all. Avira recognizes that this is a new threat category and invites IT security companies and organizations working against domestic violence to join forces, share information and work together to stop these privacy violations,” added Vukcevic. “At Avira, we are pleased to see how adding Stalkerware to the other malware detection categories provides more complete threat coverage for a global audience.” 

Avira and other members of the Coalition will be continuing to refine their definitions and detection criteria of Stalkerware. “It is going to be an ongoing task – similar to the fight against both malware and Potentially Unwanted Apps,” he explained. “While there are technical criteria that we have to work on, it is also critically important that people realize that they have the right to know what apps are present on their device, how these apps are tracking them, and be able to remove them.”

Get informed at

Education is essential element of the fight against Stalkerware. In support of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (November 25), the Coalition will also launch an online portal,, with the goal of helping victims, facilitating knowledge transfer among members, developing best practices for ethical software development and educating the public about the dangers of Stalkerware. 

The website will provide online resources about Stalkerware: It will include information on what Stalkerware is, what it can do, and, how people can protect themselves. The website will list common indicators to check if a user thinks they may have become a victim of Stalkerware and what steps they can potentially make. 

Important: Your current Windows version is outdated and no longer supported.
For your security, we recommend switching to Windows 10 before downloading Avira software.
Update your Windows version here.
Wichtig: Ihre Windows-Version ist veraltet und wird nicht mehr unterstützt.
Zu Ihrer Sicherheit empfehlen wir Ihnen den Wechsel zu Windows 10 vor dem Download unserer Software.
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Important: Votre version actuelle de Windows est obsolète et n’est plus prise en charge.
Pour votre sécurité, nous vous conseillons de passer à Windows 10 avant de télécharger le logiciel Avira.
Mettez à jour votre version de Windows ici.
Importante: Tu versión actual de Windows está desactualizada y ya no es compatible.
Por tu seguridad, te recomendamos que instales Windows 10 antes de descargar la solución de Avira.
Actualiza aquí tu versión de Windows.
Importante: La tua attuale versione di Windows è obsoleta e non è più supportata.
Per la tua sicurezza, ti consigliamo di passare a Windows 10 prima di scaricare i software Avira.
Aggiorna la tua versione di Windows qui.
Importante: Sua versão atual do Windows está desatualizada e não tem mais suporte.
Para sua segurança, recomendamos que troque para o Windows 10 antes de baixar o software da Avira.
Atualize sua versão do Windows aqui.
Важно: ваша версия Windows устарела и больше не поддерживается.
Из соображений безопасности перед загрузкой ПО Avira мы рекомендуем перейти на Windows 10.
Обновить Windows вы можете здесь.
Belangrijk: Uw huidige versie van Windows is verouderd en wordt niet meer ondersteund.
Voor uw veiligheid adviseren wij u om over te stappen op Windows 10 voordat u de Avira-software downloadt.
Update uw Windows-versie hier.
Önemli: Kullanmakta olduğunuz Windows sürümü eski ve artık desteklenmiyor.
Güvenliğiniz için Avira yazılımını indirmeden önce Windows 10 sürümüne yükseltmenizi öneririz.
Windows sürümünü buradan güncelleyin.
重要 : 現在お使いの Windows バージョンは古いため、サポートされなくなりました。
安全のため、Avira ソフトウェアをダウンロードする前に Windows 10 に切り替えることをお勧めします。
こちらより Windows バージョンをアップデートしてください
重要信息 : 您当前的 Windows 版本已过时,并且不再受支持。
为了安全起见,我们建议您在下载 Avira 软件之前切换到 Windows 10。
在此升级您的 Windows 版本
重要資訊 : 您當前的 Windows 版本已過時,並且不再受支援。
為了安全起見,我們建議您在下載 Avira 軟體之前切換到 Windows 10。
在此升級您的 Windows 版本