We have seen a lot of cases of spyware-infected machines in our workshop, but what is so secretive about spyware?
What is Spyware and what can it do?
- Spyware is programmed to be covert, gathering information and sending it off to its developer without you even knowing it’s there. Like a secret service spy hiding in plain sight, gathering intelligence, and sending it back to MI5.
- Spyware is a blanket term given to software that is designed to gather information about your computer and the things you do on it. It then sends this information over the internet to a third party.
- Although spyware can be used legitimately, it is mostly used for malicious purposes, aiming to gather personal information such as credit card details, usernames, and passwords which can then be exploited and used for fraud.
- It poses a major privacy and security risk with some times of malware being able to record instant messages, skype chats, take screenshots of your computer screen and even control your webcam.
- The data gathered could in turn be used as leverage for blackmail demands.
- As for businesses, spyware could gather hundreds of thousands of confidential documents that could get the business in serious financial and reputational trouble if released to the public.
How does it get onto your computer and how would you avoid infection?
- Often spyware is downloaded along with software that you’ve chosen to install or you may inadvertently pick up spyware while surfing the internet.
- You could be persuaded to click on a pop-up window offering a prize, a free PC scan, or urging you to download essential software – but instead, you’ll be opening a door to the spyware.
- These days most people accept end-user agreements on software without reading the tedious small print. This is where notifications of user tracking and advert delivery tend to be placed and a lot of spyware developers know this and exploit it.