The Mail on Sunday recently ran a story that might be very surprising to a lot of people. In it Claudia Joseph says that it was recently, after having dinner with a friend in London’s Canary Wharf that she first became suspicious.
Is Somebody Listening?
She and her friend had settled into their seats and arranged their belongings with Claudia’s iPhone placed in front of her on the table, as usual. She noticed that her companion was struggling to read the menu without glasses.
‘I thought you’d had laser eye surgery?’ she sad. ‘Yes,’ her friend replied. ‘But it only works for long distance.’
It was a mundane conversation between friends, just like any other that takes place at countless dinner tables across Britain – but one which, in fact, turned into something altogether more unsettling.
Within hours, Claudia used her mobile to scroll through my Facebook account and, with growing unease, noticed adverts for LASIK laser eye surgery and a selection of spectacles from Lady Boss glasses appearing alongside the usual updates from friends. Claudia does not even wear glasses! Surely, she thought, it must be a coincidence? And yet the timing felt troubling.
Could it be possible that our phones are somehow eavesdropping on our conversations, she wondered and that key phrases are being logged and used to send us targeted adverts? The implications, if true, are chilling.
I never go anywhere without my phone
Claudia points out that we are obsessed with our phones. They accompany us to our most personal spaces – our homes, our bedrooms and bathrooms – are privy to our most intimate of conversations and are used for all aspects of our business, personal and financial lives. But what she discovered over several days of investigation reveals what can only be described as a frightening new chapter in our relationship with these devices.
To Claudia, there is no doubt: the microphones on our phones are indeed listening to our everyday lives. We do not even have to be using our phones to make a call for them to eavesdrop. Unless the microphone is disabled, they appear to be able to pick up words and phrases and translate them into related adverts that then appear in apps such as Instagram and Facebook.
If Claudia Joseph hadn’t observed this insidious behaviour for herself, she says that she wouldn’t have believed it was possible. Facebook, which owns Instagram and WhatsApp, completely denies using microphones to eavesdrop on conversations, or to tailor adverts. They insist they only show adverts based on user’s interests and information they voluntarily upload. How then can they explain what Claudia uncovered in this investigation?
Claudia carried her iPhone with her at all times over the course of a week. It was always switched on and close enough to her for it to be able to ‘hear’ any conversations.
One day, Claudia visited her GP for an NHS check-up, and was booked for a blood test. By the time she was back with the nurse to take her blood, Claudia had received an offer on Facebook from private firm Thriva offering her a ‘blood test today’.
From there, Claudia met a friend for lunch. She’s decided to purposely discuss obscure subjects so that her previous Internet search history wouldn’t interfere with any new ads.
The friend told her about his love of photography. He was going to Heathrow to photograph a British Airways Boeing 757 landing and Claudia discussed buying camera lenses with him.
Facebook and Instagram on the case.
This time, Claudia got ads on both Facebook and Instagram accounts from airlines AND photography companies. Claudia hadn’t searched for either online. One ad told her ‘You don’t need to be tech savvy to edit photos’, and even showed a picture of an aeroplane.
Finally, Claudia showed a friend a book of prints by a 19th Century artist called Aubrey Beardsley, which her father had discovered in a library that burnt down during the Second World War. She had two of his prints on her wall.
Despite never Googling the artist, you can probably guess what happened next. An advert appeared on her Instagram for the Victoria and Albert Museum with a similar image they have in their collection.
To be absolutely certain her phone was eavesdropping, Claudia left it next to the radio and tuned into Italian news network Radio 24. Bingo! The following day, Claudia’s Instagram was full of dozens of Italian adverts, including one for an exhibition, another for a singer’s new album and various Italian holiday offers.
Claudia has discovered that the best way to counter this kind of eavesdropping is according to experts, is to delete social-media apps from your phone. If you have an iPhone, you will also need to turn off the Siri application, which uses voice-activated software.
To do so, go into your Settings, scroll down to ‘Siri and Search’ and switch off the tab that says ‘Allow Siri when locked’. If you want to keep your social-media apps, you can visit each one in Settings and switch off the ‘Microphone’ tab. Alternatively, if you have an Android phone, navigate to Settings and disable or turn off the microphone, and also disable ‘Okay Google’, which allows the phone to react to voice commands.
I spy a photo
But that wasn’t the full extent of Claudia’s phone’s espionage. It was also, she discovered, spying on her pictures.
A friend sent Claudia a picture on WhatsApp of a £1,190 Chloe Nile leather cross-body bag that she had seen in Selfridges. Claudia had never Googled or looked up the bag herself. It was too expensive for her, so she replied: ‘I wonder if we could find a replica?’
Days later, a similar bag popped up in an advert on her phone, priced at a far more realistic £39.99. Surely not another coincidence?
WhatsApp would say so. They insist your messages are so encrypted that even they can’t tell you what you’ve been sending. A little research threw up a similar case of an American woman called Jen Lewis, who in 2017 posted a picture of herself on Twitter wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans. She was subsequently targeted on Facebook by a lingerie company, which sent her an ad of a model wearing an almost identical outfit. She wrote in a post to her page: ‘Uh, Facebook just served me a bra ad where a woman is wearing the outfit that I’m currently wearing.’
It went viral, with 21,400 ‘likes’ from people around the world. Facebook insisted it was coincidence, but thousands of people were unconvinced, suggesting that the woman’s phone or laptop camera was targeted with image-recognition software.
Of course, the questionable habits of social-media giants in harvesting our personal data is nothing new.
Following a trend
Most people will already know that, when they use a search engine or visit certain websites, they can expect to be targeted by related adverts in their Internet browser. But the idea that our conversations, and photographs are being collected is a different prospect entirely.
Claudia got in touch with Dr Vitor Jesus, senior lecturer in cyber-security and privacy at Birmingham University. ‘I’m not surprised by the sequence of events you experienced,’ he told her. ‘Every time you download an app and give it permission to access personal information, whether it be photographs, contacts or microphone, you open yourself to being targeted. The companies tell us they do this, but the information is buried in long agreements and policies that most of us don’t bother to read. So I say, buyer beware! There is no such thing as a free app. And at the moment, because users are technically giving permission, it is not illegal.’ This ‘permission’ is tacitly given because the microphones on most people’s phones are always left on. The phones are pre-programmed to listen for ‘trigger’ phrases that activate personal assistant apps such as Siri or Alexa. This means that many other apps could be using the same technology without the phone owner’s knowledge. Dr Jesus also said: ‘it is entirely possible to have multiple apps listening in the background all the time, with each being triggered by keywords. ‘Your details are then passed on to the relevant companies who will bombard you with adverts.’
The precise way this works is still something of a mystery – even to experts – because it depends on which app is listening in. But it is thought that app developers create a list of keywords relating to its advertisers or their products. The microphone sends conversations through transcription software that instantly turns it from speech to text. If key words or phrases are present, the app triggers adverts to be sent to users.
At Wilson’s Detectives we believe that companies such as Instagram, WhatsApp and
Facebook, have developed algorithms that will allow them to ensure that this process is effective. We would certainly advise that people think more carefully about what they download on to their phones and devices and keep in mind that nothing comes for free. There are just differing ways of extracting payment.’
At Wilsons Detectives, we are always working to help people who feel they are being spied on or monitored by any means. If you feel that someone is accessing your private data, give us a call.
Role of Private Investigators- Wilsons Detectives- Private Investigators Dubai- Detectives Wilsons- Anthony Bryan Investigation
Undercover investigators Wilsons Detectives- Private Investigators Dubai- Detectives Wilsons- Anthony Bryan Investigation have an effective operative network of investigators throughout Asia including China- Bangkok- Hong Kong- Thailand- Singapore- Manila- Ho Chi Minh City
- Taipei- Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur.
An undercover investigator, undercover detective, or undercover agent is a person who conducts investigations of suspected or confirmed criminal activity while impersonating a disinterested third party. Undercover investigators often infiltrate a suspected insurgent group, posing as a person interested in purchasing illegal goods or services with the ultimate aim of obtaining information about their assigned target. Wilsons Detectives was established in Kenya in 1951 to spy on insurgents.
Wilsons have since expanded their operation to Asia- Detective Agency Honk Kong, Middle East- Private Investigators Dubai and Europe- Wilsons Detectives. As a part of the Wilsons Group now we have Detective Agencies throughout the UK as well as branches, associate offices and private investigators based in Africa, Asia, Caribbean, EU, Eastern Europe, and North America- Wilsons’s first client was the British Government, the first of an impressive and growing client list.
Many undercover investigators carry hidden cameras and recorders strapped to their bodies to help them document their investigations and Wilsons Detective Asia and Africa is no exception.
The period of the investigation could last for several months, or in some extreme cases, years. Due to the dangerous nature of the job, their real identities are kept secret throughout their active careers. Economic investigations, business intelligence and information on competitors, security advice, special security services information, criminal investigation, investigations background, and profile polygraph tests are all typical examples of such a role performed by Wilsons Detectives and Anthony Bryan Investigation. These roles are played by our undercover agents in Private Investigators Dubai- Detective Agencies Hong Kong and Detectives Wilsons- Anthony Bryan Investigation to the fullest of their expertise.
Undercover investigators are often misinterpreted as being like a police officer or deputy, however, they are quite the opposite. As opposed to a police officer, a private or undercover detective working for Detective Agency Africa, Asia is trained in keeping a low profile, and are under no requirement to wear a uniform or a badge. Police are trained to be direct in their approach unless using a disguised vehicle. Certain types of undercover investigators, depending on their employer, will investigate allegations of abuse of workman's compensation. Those claiming to be injured are often investigated and recorded with a hidden camera/recorder. This is then presented in court or to the client who paid for the investigation.
Across the world many jurisdictions require PIs to be licensed. Depending on local laws, they may or may not carry a firearm, some are former law enforcement agents (including former police officers), some are former spies, some are former military, some used to work for a private military company, and some of Wilsons Close Protection Officers are former bodyguards and security guards. While PIs may investigate criminal matters, most do not have police authority, and as such, they are only limited to the powers of citizen's arrest and detention that any other citizen has. They are expected to keep detailed notes and to be prepared to testify in court regarding any of their observations on behalf of their clients. Great care is required to remain within the scope of the law, otherwise the investigator may face criminal charges. Being an undercover agent is a hard work and may require irregular hours when performing surveillance work. Our undercover agents in Private Investigators Dubai- Detective Agencies Hong Kong and Detectives Wilsons- Anthony Bryan Investigation are resilient, determined, hardworking and flexible- acquiring all the qualities to be the best in their profession.
Don't get caught out when online shopping
Top tips for safer online shopping
The festive season is on its way, and for many of us that means it’s time to hit the shops. Online shopping is great for bargain-hunters, but did you know that almost a third of British online shoppers admit that they are more likely to take a risk with their money - for example shopping on an unfamiliar or unsecure website - if an online retailer offers them a bargain?
The good news is, there are easy ways to sharpen your scam-spotting skills and shop online with confidence. Watch the video to find out more.
1. Spot a suspicious email
2. Be wise to fake websites
Did you know that 28,000 websites have been exposed as selling counterfeit goods since 2014? It’s safest to shop with companies you know have a good reputation, but be wary of imposters. Look for:
3. Stand up to pressure tactics
4. Avoid online action fraudsters
5. Protect against a data hack
Important legal information
Lloyds Bank plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278. Authorisation can be checked on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.ukVisit the Financial Conduct Authority website. Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
Lloyds Bank website http://www.lloydsbank.com
I'm a Partner in Wilsons Consultancy & Wilsons Detectives I head the counter fraud & blackmail department
We were first established in 1951 as K W R Wilson & Co Security Services.
We offer a telephone consultation and the first operational hour free so that we can have a clear idea of your scenario and suggest the ways we can help you with your unique situation without cost or obligation.
Our male and female, multi lingual - multi skilled - multi cultural private investigators and researchers deal with each scenario sensitively and discreetly and we guarantee positive results.
We are a part of the Wilsons B A services group and we have 65 branches in the UK & 101 branches or Associate Offices in Africa, Asia., America's and Europe.
If you feel you are in a susceptible situation and that you might be monitored by someone we can arrange counter surveillance. Click Here
Wilsons Consultancy - Wilsons Detectives counter fraud & blackmail department
Fraudsters and blackmailers rely on their victim feeling trapped or exposed, whether they are attacking individuals or corporations; it is an attack based on creating fear. Fraud, blackmail often evolve at the cutting edge of technology, finding ways to exploit time-tested concepts; we identify your weaknesses and trace instigators to create solutions and protect your position.
Increasingly, fraudsters are using technology to their advantage, effective international fraud and blackmail operators infiltrate standard defences with little 'hacking' knowledge and no more than a mobile phone. With extensive knowledge of the techniques in use through modern internet-based technologies and traditional applications.
We can identify your weaknesses in your communications systems , protect you against attacks and or trace them to source and strategize response, preparation for litigation.
Wilsons Consultancy - Wilsons Detectives are specialist and always discreet!!!
We have found that there has been an increase in people requiring a UK private investigator to carry out a background check. Quite simply put, a background check means thoroughly checking someone past and present, so that you have the facts. There are many different types of background checks which include Financial misdemeanour's, Crime, Character and more. Please contact us for a free no-obligation quote or to simply find out a little more about our range or background checks. Our London Private Investigators are experienced, friendly and discreet. Our checks are also capable of checking for adverse media and when these are used in conjunction with our highly sophisticated databases, they are extremely reliable.
Background checks are a fast and simple way for individuals and businesses to confirm whether information is correct or whether there is anything that doesn't seem quite right. Please see below the types of checks that we can carry out.
Apply for this service: Link Here
Feeling shortchanged by your bank and want to take the help of law to get redress?
Arm yourself with the knowledge of banking law and its various aspects. Instead of becoming a victim of fraud and watch helplessly how your bank dilly dallies on your complaint, find a learned legal counsel from the largest free legal advice finder in UK, Wilsons Consultancy.
Get detailed legal advice on banking law including suitable legal precedents pertaining to your case area. Find out the best solicitor firms in your area dealing with banking law from our solicitor rating table.Use the services of Wilsons Consultancy to avail the best solicitor in your case including probable fee discounts.
When You Think Your Spouse is Having an Affair?
As an online writer, I look for frequently searched keywords and phrases so that my articles are more likely to be seen on Google's search results. When researching phrases for coping with cheating spouses, I was shocked to learn that there are a few thousand monthly searches for surviving an affair, but nearly a hundred thousand searches on how to have one!
Looking deeper, I found that there are also just a few thousand searches each month for topics relating to how to hire a private detective or investigator, but many thousands of people offering their detective services for pay.
If you think your spouse is cheating, hiring a private eye will only be as good as the detective's skills. It's truly one of those areas where you get what you pay for. An investigator may have many contacts that will provide sensitive data, or could be relying on public information and stakeouts, which proves costly for his or her clients and doesn't produce great results.
Before you hire someone to spy on your spouse, do some footwork of your own with these tips and tools. You'll be able to save time and money, and you will get to the bottom of things quickly and effectively.
Have You Had a Partner that Cheated on You Before?
See results without voting
Signs that Your Spouse is Cheating
Maybe your gut's telling you something is wrong, but you can't quite put your finger on it. You don't want to make unfair accusations or ask questions that imply you don't trust your partner if they're not doing something wrong since that can hurt your relationship. If, after taking a look at these signs, you discover that you do have sound reason to suspect an affair, you may still want to avoid asking questions temporarily.
If your partner thinks you're suspicious, they may make it harder to discover what's really happening. In my opinion, it's better to investigate first and ask questions later. If you discover they aren't having an affair, your spouse won't feel resentful long after you've dropped the subject if they never knew you wondered about the possibility.
Signs to look for:
What do you think about snooping or spying on a spouse?
See results without voting
How to Snoop - Or Investigate - Discreetly
Sometimes a few easy steps can uncover a spouse's affair. Then again, some people cover their tracks very well, either to protect their own reputation or others' feelings. (I know, if they really cared about someone's feelings, they wouldn't be having an affair in the first place!)
Before we start looking at investigative steps you can take, I want to talk to you about the idea of snooping. Some people take great offense at the idea of snooping. They claim it's a breach of trust, and they're right about that. "If you don't trust your guy or girl, just leave," they'll say.
Their advice is not necessarily practical. You probably realize this or you wouldn't have read this far. You might be worried about an affair because you've seen indications that something has gone wrong with your relationship and you want to set things right again. Maybe you think your partner's preparing to have an affair, but if it hasn't happened yet, you'd like to know how to get your relationship back on track before it happens.
Another reason people fear affairs is their own insecurity. If you're insecure and your partner has not given you reasons to be suspicious, it may be tempting to use these methods to reassure yourself at first, but doing so often leads to compulsive behaviors. You may find yourself unable to resist checking up on your partner, and in doing so, you'll eventually be discovered and it can destroy your relationship even if your partner has done nothing wrong at all! I don't suggest using these methods to address insecurity when there aren't at least two of the signs of cheating discussed earlier.
Ok, back to business....
10 Easy, Low-Tech Investigative Techniques
For some of these methods, you will need to obtain passwords from your partner or bypass security controls on his or her cell phone or computer. If you bypass security codes, you could be on the hook for illegal activity depending on the laws in your state, so you should become familiar with what the law does and doesn't allow you to do, or avoid getting discovered.
1. Look over the information you can find on your partner's cell phone. Do you see frequent calls to or from an unfamiliar number? Do you see calls identified as someone you know calling much more often than they used to? Cheaters may assign a man's name to his mistress's number to mask her identity or vice versa. Write down any numbers you don't recognize and run them through several search engines to see if it hits upon any useful information.
2. Examine text messages. Frequent texting may also be shown on your cell phone bill. Some companies provide more thorough information than others, and some require you to make a request to see what numbers sent and received text from a phone on your account. Either way, reviewing your cell phone bill periodically will instantly reveal if your partner's been texting dozens of messages a day to another number. Another important piece of information that's easier to see on your cell phone bill than the phone (though it can be there, too) is call duration. Is she spending two hours on the phone with a certain number?
3. Look at photos stored on the phone.
4. Look for cell phone applications like Tiger Text and Stocks, which are described in the links "How Your Spouse is Getting Away with Cheating!" and
"7 Apps You Don't Want Your Man to Have." (You don't want your woman having 'em either!)
5. Use the free "Find my Phone" app available for iPhone users to track all the phones on your account. This doesn't require access to your partner's cell phone or his consent, but it does require that both the phone you're using with the application and the phone that's being tracked are on the same account.
6. You can install a keystroke logger on your spouse's computer. These software programs are difficult to detect, but you should also know that it may be illegal to use key-loggers. There are restrictions about who can and cannot use them, when, and why. You may violate federal wiretapping laws if these restrictions aren't followed. If you go this route and your spouse discovers how you obtained your information, you could face jail time if you haven't followed the strict limitations. If you meet the requirements and install this software, it can send e-mails and screenshots to an e-mail address that you specify.
7. Get access to your partner's computer and access his or her e-mail and social media accounts. If there's a chat program installed, look for chat histories. Check the deleted and trash folders (they're not always the same) to see what has been removed. Review the Sent Messages folder to see what your partner has sent to other people.
9. Check your partner's browser history and cookies. If they have been deleted, check again in a few days. If they've again been deleted, be concerned.
10. For a fee, you can hack your spouse's cell phone and get real-time or historic location data, text messages, e-mail contents, and more by downloading apps of your own. A simple internet search for spy applications will reveal a number of applications with varying costs, ease of use, and features. The programs take several minutes to install and are not easily detected on the target's phone. For an overview of how these aps work, watch this video. (I do not endorse any specific company or website for this purpose, including the one responsible for the video.)
Bonus Investigative Tip - Retrieve Deleted Texts
If you need to retrieve deleted texts from a cell phone, follow these instructions
from the computer that your spouse uses to synchronize his or her phone. It will only provide texts sent between the two most recent syncs, but that may be enough, especially if they don't synchronize very often.
More by this Author
My husband has changed his phone number, and email address. How do I get that information for free?
jellygator 2 weeks ago
If you are still married, you may have a legal right to access his phone account. I am not so sure about e-mail, though. Some of the keystroke loggers and spyware install if you can disguise them as a legitimate link and he opens it. However, this is illegal (it violates wiretapping laws) in general, so it may be important to get legal advice before attempting something like this. To be honest, though, why bother? If he's going so far to protect his information, that's all you really need to know!
I have been chatting online through Yahoo messenger with a guy now over a year. he showed interest to see me and I wanted to meet with him too. However now after one year he is not revealing his identity and does not come forward to meet me, but he still keep chatting with me and says that he likes me and wants to be with me. what I have from him 6 photos and his id on yahoo messenger and an email address, how ever as i have tried to send him an email to both his yahoo email through yahoo messenger and his other email both bounced which is actually strange' because we still chat through yahoo which was set up with that particular email address?! I was hoping to find his IP address and his physical location , but his security system blocks my emails, I brought that up to him but he says he has no idea why this happens , he said this is his true email address? could you help me to locate him or get some information about him, just to have a clear mind and make sure he is the person in his pictures.
I am afraid I don't get involved directly with other people's situations. To be honest, I find myself thinking, "If this guy hasn't made it a point to meet with you after a YEAR, he's not acting like he's very interested!" But if you can't accept that he's clearly filling his time with other interests, my suggestion would be to get his name and do a background search and Facebook search on it.
well thanks for reply...but it was not much of help...my question was how strange is if I can chat with the same id on yahoo messenger but not being able to send an e-mail to the same user? but I guess you are not too computer technical. anyway I think men are strange in many ways and also he is not on face book etc. if it was that easy I would already done so....
Yes, I didn't quite understand that to be your question. You're right... I am not personally familiar with Yahoo Messenger at all. Are you sure he's not on FB under a name you don't know? He sounds pretty secretive to me.
I appreciate your stopping by, Jimmy, but I had to delete your comment! What you suggested is illegal in the U.S. and you provided personally identifiable information. Sorry!
The big clues I got were trips less than a block that took an hour to complete, whispers while on the phone etc. My SO was not very clever, that is the bottom line. LOL
Sounds like you were smart enough to trust your eyes, too! So many of us don't do that. We think we "need proof" when what we see should be proof enough!
Sia184 United Kingdom
Getting cheated on is the worst feeling ever!
jellygator 19 months ago from USAAuthor
It is certainly one of the worst, that's for sure!
Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.
No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.
In the case of your intelligence, "I got it from my mama" couldn't be more accurate. New research featured in Psychology Spot says people are born with conditioned genes that work differently depending on if they're from your mother or father - and when it comes to your intelligence, those genes are from mother dearest.
Even though people used to believe your smarts were from your father and mother, that's not the case. You see, intelligence genes are located on chromosome X and since women carry two, that means children are twice as likely to get their intelligence from mom.
And even if your father passes off a few of his intelligence genes to you, chances are they won't have an impact on your brain since they only work if they come from your mother. "If that same gene is inherited from the father, it is deactivated," reports the study inPsychology Spot. "Obviously, other genes work the opposite, are activated only if they come from the father."
Want even more proof? The Medical Research Council Social and Public Health Sciences Unit in the United States did a study on mothers back in 1994 and interviewed 12,686 young people between the ages of 14 and 22. Their questions focused on the children's IQ, race, education and socio-economic status. The best predictor of intelligence? The IQ of their mother.
Maria da Penha: The woman who changed Brazil's domestic violence laws
When Maria da Penha was almost killed by her husband, there wasn't a single police station she could go to in Brazil specialising in violence against women.
"At that time we weren't even aware of this expression - domestic violence," she says. "You just had a bad husband."
It's over 40 years since Maria da Penha first encountered the man who would change her life so dramatically.
She was studying to become a bio-pharmacist in Sao Paulo when she met Marcos Antonio Heredia Viveros, a schoolteacher originally from Colombia, through mutual friends. He was likeable and helpful, and they quickly fell in love. In 1976 they were married.
After Maria finished her studies, the couple moved back to her home city of Fortaleza, on Brazil's north eastern coast, and they began a family. But the man she had fallen in love with soon began to change.
"When his Brazilian citizenship was granted, he showed his true colours," Maria recalls. "I had no idea of how to make him go back to what he was like before.
a"I didn't know if he would wake up in a good mood or a bad mood. He became violent, hitting the children for no reason. That started to make me feel unsafe in my marriage."
Maria says there was no single trigger for the change in his behaviour. And anything, however big or small, would set him off.
"At the time my daughters were aged seven, five and almost two. My little one still wasn't walking. One day she was sitting on the floor and she wet herself.
"Then she got up and with her little wet hands, she tried to support herself using the wall. She got the wall wet. So he hit her and shouted at her. He really slapped her hard."
Maria's middle daughter used to suck her thumb, and he tied her hands to stop her doing it.
"I wasn't here, I was told about this later," says Maria. "When she managed to untie it, he hit her hard and put her in the shower under cold water."
As the violence continued, Maria felt trapped, isolated and alone.
"The only people who knew that I was suffering abuse were me and the girls who lived with us," she says. "I spared my family because if they knew they would have told me to get a divorce."
Find out more
"I was sleeping when I heard a big bang in the room. I tried to move and couldn't. Immediately I thought: 'Marco has killed me.'
"Our neighbours, who were doctors, came and found me in a terrible state, lying on the bed, on top of the wound. There was a hole in my back and I was losing a lot of blood onto the mattress. The mattress was soaked."
Maria had been shot by her husband, the bullet lodging in her spine.
But her husband told police that he'd been woken up by a noise, and had got up and found four strangers in the house. After a struggle, he said they'd tied him up and then they had shot Maria.
The police appeared to believe him, and since she was immediately rushed to hospital, Maria's version of events was not heard until later. No one was arrested.
As in many parts of the world, domestic abuse was - and still is - common in Brazil. But victims seldom went to the police.
In the early 1980s there were no specialised police units dealing with such cases, and it wasn't until 1988 that thanks to pressure from women's organisations, Brazil's constitution was amended to include guarantees of equality for women victims before the law.
But even then, the police lacked specific powers to act. For instance, there were no banning or restraining orders.
Image copyrightFOTOS GOVBA/FLICKRAnd well into the 1990s, the courts in Brazil still accepted that a man who murdered his unfaithful wife could claim a defence of "dishonour".
After four months in hospital, Maria, now paralysed from the waist down, returned to the family home.
The police investigation into the shooting was still inconclusive. And even Maria herself was beginning to doubt whether it really could have been her husband. She had no evidence to back up her suspicions.
But once she was home, the abuse continued.
"The day I came back, he told me as we were still driving home that I wasn't to have any visitors - no neighbour, no friends, no family - without his consent," Maria says.
"I was kept under a sort of house arrest. My family would call and I'd make up excuses - I'd tell them: 'I'm too tired' - so that they wouldn't come to see me. So as to obey his orders."
Eventually, in spite of everything she'd been through and in spite of her husband's attempts to keep her isolated from the outside world, Maria began to look for a way out.
Without her husband's knowledge, she tried to get a court order giving her custody of the children so that she could flee the house.
Before she could do so, Viveros made one more attempt to kill her - this time trying to electrocute her by tampering with the electric shower when she was bathing.
Miraculously, she survived - and then left for good.
"I spent 19 years and six months fighting for him to be jailed, and during that time he was put on trial and found guilty twice, and twice he walked out of the court free because of the appeals," she says.
In 2002, Viveros was eventually sentenced to eight years in prison - though he was released after just a year. Meanwhile, Maria was campaigning for changes in the law.
And she even took her case to the Organisation of American States.
Eventually in August 2006, Brazil's left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva signed the Lei Maria da Penha, the Maria da Penha law. It came into effect on 22 September 2006.
For the first time in Brazil, the law recognised different forms of abuse against women.
It increased the punishment for offenders, established special domestic violence courts and required the authorities to open 24-hour shelters for abused women. It was heralded as landmark legislation on domestic abuse by the United Nations.
Maria da Penha, who's now 71, still campaigns tirelessly on women's rights and travels the country speaking about her own harrowing experience. She believes the law bears her name was a great victory - but it was just a first step, she says.
"So many women think that violence is only physical, they are not aware of other kinds of violence," she says. "They don't understand psychological, moral, sexual violence. The law lists all those kinds of abuses.
"Nowadays women are coming forward but the violence continues. They are coming forward to press charges, but it's only in the cities or the state capitals where there are shelters and specialised police units and all the facilities."
There's a long way to go to change attitudes, she says.
"Listen, the law is now very well-known across Brazil, 98% of the country has heard of it. Many women tell me that they would be dead without the law.
"But there is still a long way to go. No woman deserves to be suffering like that."
Theresa May Heads To G20 In China
Theresa May’s officials have been warned to avoid “honey traps” amid fears that the Prime Minister's team will be targeted by Chinese spies offering sex during the G20 summit.
British government aides have fallen victim to spying on previous official trips to China, with one Downing Street official reported to have had his mobile phone and secret documents stolen after he was seduced.
Government security chiefs are anxious to avoid a repeat of the incident, which took place during a visit by Gordon Brown in 2008, and have provided detailed guidance to Mrs May’s team.
The Prime Minister’s officials have been warned to take steps to protect themselves during the G20 summit, which begins on Sunday .
Officials travelling with Mrs May have been issued with temporary mobile phones and email addresses in an attempt to evade Chinese state hackers.
Security advisers are also warning staff not to keep gifts they receive and to be particularly wary of electronic devices, such as free computer memory sticks, mobile phone SIM cards or chargers which they are offered by their Chinese hosts.
© PA Prime Minister Theresa May and Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond at Heathrow Airport before she boards a plane for the G20 Summit in Hangzhou in China which begins on Sunday.One Whitehall source said security chiefs had warned them that hotel rooms used during the summit were likely to be bugged. “We have been told that if you feel uncomfortable about people seeing you naked, you should get changed under your bedclothes,” the source said.
British security agencies regard China as one of the most aggressive nations when it comes to launching cyber-attacks against western governments and businesses, as well as posing a major espionage threat to the UK.
Chinese technological expertise has prompted security concerns at the highest levels of government and British intelligence.
There are fears that Chinese intelligence agents will use their capability to intercept emails and phone calls and to install spy software on computers during the summit.
However, one of the gravest threats posed by foreign spies is also one of the oldest: the honey trap.
During Mr Brown’s visit to China in 2008, one of the No 10 officials accompanying the then Prime Minister reportedly fell prey to a “beautiful” female Chinese spy. She went back to his hotel room, drugged him, stole his mobile phone and documents from his briefcase.
The incident was described by Mr Brown’s former spin doctor, Damien McBride, in his 2013 memoir, Power Trip.
The No 10 team was “accosted on one side by a beautiful posse of Chinese girls and on the other side by an equivalent group of Russian blondes”, Mr McBride said.
He wrote: "Even before our resident security expert could warn us that their interest was not to be taken at face value, we looked up and saw one of our number disappearing up the stairs to the exit with one of the girls, beaming back at us."
He woke up the following morning "minus his Blackberry and half the contents of his briefcase".
The official also had a "‘very bad headache, owning to the Mickey Finn nightcap his overnight companion had administered to him in his hotel room".
The G20 summit in Hangzhou comes at a time of heightened tension between Britain and China. Within weeks of entering Downing Street in July, Mrs May put on hold a final decision on whether to approve a Chinese-backed new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset.
Her aides made it clear that she was concerned about the potential risks to British national security of allowing China to take such a major role in running a critical nuclear energy plant.
Mrs May’s chief of staff, Nick Timothy, warned before taking up his No 10 role that the Hinkley project could allow China to shut down energy production “at will”.
He said that MI5 believed Chinese intelligence services were working “against British interests at home and abroad”.
Shortly after Mrs May’s decision to delay the Hinkley plan, the Chinese ambassador in London warned that blocking the £18 billion project would put Britain’s future relationship with China in doubt.
Mrs May is due to have her first face-to-face meeting with the Xi Jinping, the Chinese president, at the end of the G20 summit on Monday.
Anthony Bryan joined MI5 in the early 70s and operated in the UK, Ireland, and the Middle East, before being seconded to MI6 to work with the CIA in the USA during the War on Drugs. He now lives between homes in London, Paris and Manila and runs a successful Private Detective & Corporate Intelligence Agency, Anthony Bryan Corporate Intelligence and Investigations..