How to Check Your Devices for Stalkerware – WIRED

There are some extra permissions stalkerware apps are likely to need on macOS: From System Preferences head to Security & Privacy, and then Privacy. Check the entries for Input Monitoring and Full Disk Access, as spying software will often need these permissions. Windows doesn’t have exactly the same setup, but you can see the permissions that apps have (including location, camera access and so on) by choosing Privacy from the Settings menu and scrolling down to App permissions.

As we’ve said, if your employer is keeping tabs on your working day then the tools should be visible and running with your knowledge. But if you’re really worried, a complete system reset for Windows or macOS should clear the majority of hidden monitoring tools, if you suspect one has taken root (just make sure you back up your files first).

How to Check Your Accounts

For someone who wants to invade someone’s privacy, it’s often easier just to gain access to their online accounts rather than try to get access to their devices. With just about everything accessible on the web, from social media to email, it’s far more effective.

With that in mind, as well as checking for unauthorized access to your devices, you should also check for unauthorized access to your accounts. This obviously starts with protecting your usernames and passwords: Make sure they’re known only to you, difficult to guess, not used across multiple accounts, and not written down anywhere. Consider using a password manager to keep those passwords strong, randomized, and different for every account you have. On accounts where it’s available, turn two-factor authentication on.

facebook login activity setting's page

Facebook will list all of the devices that you’ve logged in on.

Screenshot: David Nield via Facebook

If there’s an unwanted visitor in your accounts, you should be able to find evidence of it. For Facebook, for example, open your settings page in a browser and click Security and login to see all the devices where your account is active (and to log out of ones you don’t recognize). In the case of Gmail on the web, click the Details button in the lower right-hand corner to see other active sessions.

Some mobile apps, like WhatsApp and Snapchat, can only be used on one device, so you know that the login you’re using is the only active one. This isn’t the case for every app though—on Instagram, for example, if you open up the app settings then tap Security and Login activity, you can see a list of all the devices linked to your account. To remove a device, tap the three dots to the side of any of the entries, then Log out.