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All About Spyware

While you were browsing the internet or paying attention to the news you might have heard about something called spyware and it infecting computers, but what is it?

Spyware is a form of malware that is made with the intent to monitor and collect information from the computers that it infects.

Spyware can be very hard to detect because there are no obvious signs that you have been infected with spyware. Unlike other malware, spyware isn’t destructive so once you are infected your computer will act almost like it wasn’t even touched.

The data that spyware can collect varies depending on what kind of spyware infects your computer.

There are four main types of spyware.

One type is password stealer spyware, staying true to its name, password stealers will try and harvest store passwords on the infected computer and send them back to the spyware’s owner.

Another type is a banking trojan, these are similar to passwords stealers but are specifically targeting passwords for your online bank account. They will trigger when ever you log into your bank account and steal your banking credentials.

The third type is info stealer spyware, this type of spyware is meant to gather all types of information about the person that it infects like geolocation, PII, any personal documents, and any other information about your digital activity. It will then send all this information to a remote server where the attacker will then be able to download it.

The final main type of spyware is monitoring spyware, this type of spyware is strictly monitoring the infected computer’s owner. This type of is commonly used by domestic abusers to monitor their spouse’s activity. It will take screenshots of the computer desktop and even take screenshots from the computer’s webcam.

There are many ways for spyware to get on to your computer, it can be through a security vulnerability in software on your computer, through a phishing email that contains a trojan virus, through download bundles or even through misleading marketing. Spyware makers will try and make their malware look like a legitimate and helpful tool but when in reality it is malicious.

There are a few ways to defend against being infected with spyware, the easiest would be to install a well-known anti-virus. Some examples of a well-known anti-virus is Malwarebytes, Sophos Home and Kaspersky Security Cloud Free.

Another way to stay safe is to always verify what you are downloading, do not download software from sources you cannot verify. Sticking to well-known sources is the best bet in staying safe online.

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