Spyware is a program, which belongs in the malware category, created to monitor users’ online activities, gather personal information, login information and capture every single keystroke that the users make without their knowledge.
Some Spyware is pretty harmless and useful even, but most Spyware programs are very harmful and may lead to Identity theft.
What is Spyware used for?
Advertising and Marketing. Some Spyware is used to keep track of your web surfing history, purchase history, what advertisements you looked at, how you use your computer, what software you have installed on your Operating System, etc.
The advertising/marketing agencies compile marketing profiles of web users and sell them.
Monitoring. Many governments use Spyware to collect secret information about foreign governments.
A lot of companies use Spyware to monitor employees’ computer activities and also to spy on their competitors.
Parents use Spyware to monitor their children’s online activities.
Criminal Spyware used to gather personal information, such as user names, passwords, bank account numbers, credit card account number, and is used to commit Identity Theft or Fraud.
A great example of such Spyware is Keylloger, which records user keystrokes and then sends this information back to the criminal who installed it.
Keyloggers are either software programs, which can be delivered by Trojans through email attachments or by clicking on malicious links, or hardware devices, which must be physically installed on a computer.
How to keep Spyware away from you Computer
- Get Anti-Spyware Program from a reputable vendor and always keep it up to date.
- Avoid downloading free games, software, movies, music from file-sharing programs, which are the breading ground for Spyware and other malware.
- Consider using a browser other than Internet Explorer. There is no browser that is 100% safe, but IE seems to be the worst.
Further Reading and Resources:
Kaspersky PURE 2.0 – provides a secure and productive digital environment, whatever you use your computer for!
And, of course, if you have some other valuable information to share about Spyware, please do not hesitate to do so in the comment section below.
How do you protect your computer from Spyware? Leave a comment below.