Nowadays, anyone is a potential victim of spyware. In this way, governments, abusers, or any other person concerned can control human activities without their knowledge. In this article, you will learn all about spyware.
The Concept of Spyware
Spyware is a program that is covertly installed on devices to collect information about user activity or for the theft of personal information. Most spyware gets to the user’s device in two ways: after visiting infected sites or installing a program containing spyware. According to studies, the use of malware tends to increase annually.
Spyware is divided into different types:
- Adware: The purpose of spyware is to keep track of your online activities. Based on this data, you are shown ads, often annoying.
- Tracking Cookies: These are similar to adware.
- Keyloggers: allow an attacker to track any keystrokes on a victim’s keyboard.
- Trojans: Steal important sensitive information from the victim’s device in order to steal money. They are also used to gain remote access to the computer.
- Stalkerware: used to track the owner of a mobile phone. For example, an attacker can listen to conversations, read text messages, and track geolocation.
- Stealware: used to replace account numbers and steal money from users who make purchases at online stores.
- System monitors: tracks everything that happens on your device, from phone calls to keystrokes.
How Spyware Works
There are several ways to spread malware. The most common way is to spread links to a malicious website. Distribution occurs through advertisements on web pages, e-mails, text messages, and Search Engine Results Pages. In rare cases, spyware is embedded in ads and automatically infects the user’s device.
The second popular way to spread spyware is to open infected files. Typically, these files, disguised as a trusted source, are attached to e-mail messages. In other cases, users download spyware on computers and smartphones under the guise of useful software.
How to Avoid Being Infected
To prevent the infection of your device, you should only download files from trusted websites. It is desirable to have a good antivirus on your device, which will warn you about the danger. Also in all popular browsers, it is possible to install extensions that block unwanted pop-ups.
For example, AdBlock Plus is one of the best programs for blocking potentially dangerous and intrusive advertising.
For the security of mobile devices, applications should be downloaded via Google Play or App Store. For added security, “jailbreaking” your iPhone or “Rooting” your Android phone is not recommended. To protect against external access, a personal lock code needs to be created on your phone.
Tips for Removing Spyware
Removing spyware is difficult because it hides the signs of its presence, creates tasks in the task scheduler and simulates system file names. To find and remove spyware, you should use specialized programs. Here are some of them: Avast Free Antivirus, AVG AntiVirus, Adaware, Trend Micro HouseCall, SpywareBlaster, SUPERAntiSpyware, and Actiance Security Labs.
On your phone, spyware shows up as performance degradation, rapid battery depletion, sudden blackouts, increased Internet traffic and unusual text messages in your mailbox. If you suspect spyware is present on your phone, you can restore it to factory settings by first backing up your personal information.
Updating your operating system in some cases also helps to get rid of malware. The fact is that in the updates developers fix security vulnerabilities in the system, thus solving the problem.
For mobile devices, as well as for computers, there are programs for scanning, detection, and removal of spyware. However, in each individual case, you should choose a more effective method of removing unwanted software.
Remember that compliance with mobile device usage rules, combined with the use of security software for mobile devices, can keep you safe from spyware. Pre-installed antivirus will warn you of the danger and help you avoid infection of your device.