|Developer(s)||London-based tech company|
|Type||mobile and computer parental control monitoring|
|License||Paid & Trial|
mSpy is a brand of mobile and computer parental control monitoring software for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. mSpy monitors and logs user activity on the client device. This software is marketed at parents as a way to monitor smartphone, tablet, and computer usage of their children. Parents can monitor a range of smartphone activities their kids are taking part in, from their child's physical location to their browser history, video, images, emails, texts, and more.
mSpy was launched as a product for mobile monitoring in 2010 by a London-based tech company.
In 2012, the application allowed parents to monitor not only smartphones but also computers - Windows and Mac.
In 2013, mSpy became TopTenReviews Cell phone monitoring software award winner.
By 2014, the business has grown nearly 400%, and mSpy user number have exceeded the 1 million mark.
In 2015, mSpy program updates ensured longer battery life of target devices. The number of mSpy clients approximated 1.5 million and the number of countries, mSpy application has customers in, reached 207. Leading mSpy markets included USA, Germany, France, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
In 2016, mLite — a light version of mSpy is available from Google Play.
mSpy works on the following platforms: Android, iPhone, Windows and Mac.
- access to (reading): address book, browser bookmarks, browser history, calendar, calls history, email (including Gmail app), Facebook messenger, Firefox private, Google Hangouts, Google Chrome incognito, Instagram, LINE, MMS multimedia, photos, Skype, SMS, Telegram, Tinder, Viber, videos, WeChat, WhatsApp;
- remote control of the device: restricting calls and SMS, wipeout and block, websites blocking/restricting, application blocking, Pokemon GO blocking;
- logging: email, installed applications, keyboard;
- GPS geo-fencing and GPS tracking;
- uninstall notification, keyword tracking alert.
- Parents Tested Parents Approved Winner's Seal of Approval (2015, USA)
- kidSAFE Certified Seal (2016, USA)
It was noted that since mSpy runs inconspicuously, there is risk of the software being used illegally. Nick Pickles, director of Big Brother Watch, told MailOnline "This is the kind of technology you'd expect the security services to be using…". Citing similar concerns, mSpy was called "terrifying" by The Next Web and was featured in NPR coverage of spyware used against victims of stalking and other domestic violence.
In May 2015, Brian Krebs claimed that mSpy was hacked, leaking personal data for hundreds of thousands of users of devices with mSpy installed. mSpy claimed that there was no data leak, but that instead, it was the victim of blackmailers.
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- "mSpy Parental Monitoring Tool is certified by the kidSAFE Seal Program". www.kidsafeseal.com. Retrieved 2016-09-29.
- "mSpy Received KidSAFE Listed Seal". PRWEB. February 22, 2016. Retrieved November 6, 2016.
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- "Mobile Spyware Maker mSpy Hacked, Customer Data Leaked — Krebs on Security". Krebsonsecurity.com. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "Child spy firm hit by blackmailers". BBC. 2015-05-20. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- "For 2nd Time in 3 Years, Mobile Spyware Maker mSpy Leaks Millions of Sensitive Records — Krebs on Security". Krebsonsecurity.com. 2018-09-04. Retrieved 2018-09-04.