Spywares are defined as a type of malicious malware that infects a computer, captures online data of a user without the knowledge of the owner, and uses it to steal data, money, and impersonation or even sell it to marketers. It collects data by exploiting keylogging, email addresses, and web data and access confidential data illegally.
How does Spyware Work?
Spywares exploit software vulnerabilities and get attached to a computer through trickery techniques. For example, a pop up could appear on a pop-up window, and then it instructs you to download a certain application that is fake and in an instance you download it, the spying software will have been installed without your consent. The other way in which spyware malware finds its way in computers is when a user downloads software from an unreliable site.
Furthermore, Spywares can get there on a computer when a person clicks links from email attachments or messages that are sent from untrusted sources and directs the user to a website that will install a software on your computer without seeking your permission. Some websites might require your action like clicking a certain link to allow them to integrate the software but others that are known as drive-by the download that doesn’t require users’ input. It is important to understand that these malicious websites look like legitimate sites where a person can access and install software which a computer requires. The other way in which spyware can get a chance to monitor personal online activities is when a user pirates movie, music, and their games in suspicious online sites.
Types of Spyware
There are various types of spywares that apply different manipulation tricks to achieve their goals.
- Adware: this type of spyware records the habits of a specific person who is surfing the internet as he navigates on several websites. It can track the browser history, downloads made, and the type of forms filled when a person was online. Later, the acquired data is used to create and show pop up advertisements that are related to the past activities of that specific user. This type of spyware is mostly used for marketing and advertisements.
- Keyboard Logger: It is also called system monitors and is a spy malware that hackers use to monitor and capture important data that a person uses on a computer. It ranges from recording keystrokes, email passwords, websites accessed, chat-room dialogs, and social media activities. When this data is stolen, hackers use it to execute fraud posing as an authentic user.
- Browser hijacker: it is one of the serious spyware threats because it can change settings on computers on the homepage and bookmarks to lure a user to a spam website thus it’s important to set strong passwords and always running updated programs. These types of software’s can mine data illegally and trade it with advertisers.
- Trojan: A trojan is spyware malware that disguises itself as a valid software but they are not what they seem to be. By acquiring a false identity, they aim to defraud people to download it and then begin their nefarious crimes of stealing data, malfunctioning of systems, or even low speed of the system.
With recent technological developments, spyware threats continue to emerge where attackers are searching for deceptive ways to monitor people’s online activities, track personal data and use it to cause havoc in banks, social security accounts and make illegal payments with credit cards. The most effective defensive solution to prevent spywares from infecting your computer is to install a reputable antivirus software, avoiding downloading items from unreliable sources as well as opening emails from unknown sources. Similarly, utilize spyware removal programs that eliminate spywares when you notice any spyware on your computer.