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What is a Spyware?

Spyware is malicious software that infiltrates your computer to steal sensitive information. Spyware is a form of malware that gains access and causes damage to your systems, often without your knowledge.

Spyware collects a victim’s personal information and sends to advertisers, data firms, or other users.

Key Takeaways

What Is Spyware Used For?

Hackers and other cyber actors use spyware from various purpose. The malicious software monitors your Internet activities, tracking confidential details like user credentials, credit card or bank account information. Cybercriminals can use data from spyware to steal your identity.

Attackers also use spyware programs to install other malicious software or change device configurations.

Types of Spyware

Different spyware types use unique tactics to track and steal information.

How Does Spyware Infect Your Device?

Spyware can infect your desktop, laptop, Macs, iOS, or Android device. Windows operating systems are more susceptible to attacks. However, current sophisticated attacks can infiltrate Apple’s operating systems as well as Linux.

Some ways you get infected with spyware include:

How Can I Tell if My Device Has Spyware?

As mentioned, spyware is difficult to detect. Cyber actors design this malicious program to be deceptive and difficult to find. However, you can use other clues to identify whether your device has malware.

Check out for the following symptoms:

Not All Data Collection Tools are Spyware

Not all data collection programs are spyware. Businesses and government agencies release tools to collect data as long as the user gives consent. Such tools help legitimate software vendors to improve their products or offer personalized support and features.

The line between illegal spyware and legitimate data collection tools is often drawn at cookies. Websites offer cookies as a method of tracking and storing information about your Internet behavior. As a necessary part of web browsing, cookies enable web developers and owners to give you a more personal, convenient browsing experience. The programs make it possible for websites to remember you, your logins, shopping carts, and more.

Removing Spyware

Run a scan using security software to clean your system and deactivate spyware programs. You can purchase a reputable anti-spyware removal tool to run the scans.

Preventing Spyware Attacks

George Mutune

I am a cyber security professional with a passion for delivering proactive strategies for day to day operational challenges. I am excited to be working with leading cyber security teams and professionals on projects that involve machine learning & AI solutions to solve the cyberspace menace and cut through inefficiency that plague today's business environments.