What is Spyware? Definition, Types, How to Protect from it? and More
Table of Contents
A Spyware is a type of malicious software that invisibly operates in a computer system. Collecting technical, personal or confidential information and sending it through the Internet to third parties, without the user’s CPU, computer.
- This type of malware is self-installed on the computer disguised as other products or even silently while the user browses individual Web pages. And also, starts up when starting the operating system. Often absorbing a significant percentage of system resources (CPU, RAM or Bandwidth).
- Spyware, therefore, not only represents a risk to user privacy authorisation but also to the stability of the system and its ability to connect to the internet.
- However, unlike computer viruses, spyware does not produce copies of itself or attempt to send them to other users by owning email or peripheral devices on the computer.
Together with the hijacks, rootkits, Internet. Backdoors and other types of harmful programs, it is called malware, software designed more or less anonymously for illegal purposes: stealing personal information, bombarding with unsolicited advertising, hijacking private accounts or open gaps in computer security systems.
Different Types of spyware
Spyware can take many various forms, each with its functions and purpose. The four main types are:
Adware: This spyware tracks information about a user, absorbing data such as web searches, frequently visited websites and downloads. This information is used to display ad windows or pop-up ads.
Trojans: it is a malware that seems to be legitimate, but that can trick users into installing it on their computers and mobile devices. The use of these Trojans is to access confidential data and files and can affect system performance.
Cookie trackers: Third-party tracking cookies monitor a user’s activities on the Internet. Such as web searches, history, downloads, etc. for business, marketing or other reasons, depending on the motives of the hacker
System monitors and pulse loggers: This design of this spyware is to monitor activity on a computer and record data. Such as keystrokes, visited sites, emails and more, often for harmful purposes.
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How to protect ourselves from spyware?
Preventive measures against spyware point to the following:
Install an antivirus: Most antivirus services, private or free, also offer a margin of protection against malware in its various forms. Either as a real-time defence (immediate block to pages or files), periodic reviews, or firewall services.
Avoid unsafe pages: The greatest source of malware infections comes from pages that offer free content, pornographic or unexpected rewards. And also, seeking to attract the attention of the unsuspecting to enter the portal or click on an ad and become infected. If it is true, ignore it.
Do not install unknown software: If you ignore the manufacturer of a software or an application that you suddenly want to install on your computer. It will always be preferable not to run or install it. And not to take risks especially if you do not have a good antivirus or antimalware.
Install a pop-up blocker: pop-ups are unsolicited pop-ups that often appear during our Internet browsing, especially on insecure or heavily trafficked pages. Some of these windows capture the user and force him to download files or trick him into accessing them online. To do this, better install a pop-up blocker in the browser we use.
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How to Remove Spyware?
Many times spyware is difficult to eradicate: remember that they are programs designed to hold on to the system or to go unnoticed.
The best thing, in that case, is to carry out periodic reviews with our antivirus or antimalware software (or both). Many of which allow you to schedule these inspections so that they are carried out outside regular working hours.
There are many programs to combat or eliminate spyware. Most consist of review and removal tools. But, they also often include other useful options, such as real-time review (as you navigate) or selective blocking of potentially harmful pages, etc. Some of the most popular are:
Windows Defender: This program comes preinstalled in contemporary versions of Windows and maintains a protection shield for the system. Updating from time to time to keep up to date on threats.
HiJack This: A simple and effective program to check the computerized system for backdoors and other forms of dangerous malware. Also, it generates a complete report of its tasks, which makes it very practical.
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware: To combat any malware, this program is one of the best. Since it operates independently of the antivirus, duplicating the protection, and has a high capacity to detect harmful software.
SpyBot Search & Destroy: A true classic of the field, which in addition to periodic scans allows to “vaccinate” the computer to immunize it to certain types of malware.
Ad-Aware Free: A free license version to protect yourself from spyware that also includes antivirus software and a reasonably complete, entertaining and fast interface.
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