Q: What is Spyware?
Any software that secretly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden element of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information, other personal information such as email address, passwords and even credit card numbers
Q: How does spyware get into my computer?
Spyware often arrives via an automatic download from a website you are surfing. If you download freeware or shareware software, spyware can be embedded in the installation process. Spyware can also download on to your computer through email attachments.
Q: What is a cookie?
They small files or are pieces of information that are placed in your web browser to track web browsing habits. Cookies are often useful because a web site can track that you have visited it before and let you enter the site without a registration process. Cookies are also used to keep track of your progress through a web store. They are also used to customize website ads to your likes and dislikes. Some cookies can be considered spyware.
Q: How do I know if my computer has spyware?
- Your device runs slower than normal
- Your device freezes or crashes frequently
- You start getting a ton of pop-ups
- Your web browser’s homepage is hijacked when you go online. If your browser is suddenly redirected to a strange website, it’s most likely spyware.
- You start getting random error messages when using apps that you’ve never had issues with before.
Q: Why is spyware considered dangerous?
Spyware can compromise your privacy and provide others with information about you and your computer habits without your knowledge. Keylogger spyware can capture your keystrokes and send it to a third party. (Keyloggers are activity-monitoring software programs that give hackers access to your personal data. The passwords and credit card numbers you type, the webpages you visit – all by logging your keyboard strokes. The software is installed on your computer, and records everything you type).This could expose your user IDs and passwords to thieves. Other spyware include trojans which allow someone to log into your computer remotely and use it to send spam or launch malicious attacks on other computers on the Internet, making it look like you are at fault.
Q: What’s the difference between Adware and Spyware?
Adware is an application that pops up advertisement banners or windows at random. Adware can also be seen on your browser content in what is known as pop-ups. Spyware gathers information about your computing habits.
Q: I have a spyware remover program but I don’t think it has removed a specific spyware program on my computer. What should I do?
Just like your anti-virus program, you need to update the spyware signature files in your anti-spyware program so that it will catch new spyware programs. If you already have anti-spyware software, go into your spyware program and see if it has a method to update these files.
Q: Is there a way that I can delete spyware manually?
Sometimes you may know a certain program is spyware. In this case, you can try to remove it manually. This is done by using the uninstall function of your computer. For Windows users, you can remove specific applications by going to your control panel (in “Settings”) and selecting the “Add/Remove Programs” function. Once there, you will see a list of programs. Click on the program you believe to be spyware and select “Remove”. Make sure to restart your computer after the removal to be sure all changes required for the spyware to be removed are complete.
Q: How can I be sure that my computer never gets spyware?
There are many anti-spyware programs on the market today; however, Anti Spyware Software is intended to prevent and detect unwanted spyware and consequently, removes them. Anti-spyware software will perform routine checks on your computer to ensure your system is safe. As well as this will also make sure your privacy is protected 24/7 from any possible intrusions
Q: Is there anything I can do to stop spyware?
- Use trusted antivirus software with anti spyware features.
- Don’t download suspicious-looking email attachments
- Don’t click on online pop-ups
- Don’t open links received in text messages from unknown numbers
- Avoid chatting with strangers in messaging apps
- Keep your computer and mobile operating systems up-to-date
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