Spyware is a type of malware that installs itself on a device and covertly monitors your browsing habits, internet usage, and computer usage. Spyware is typically hard to detect and hard to uninstall. It will run quietly in the background of a user’s computer and collect information while they’re none the wiser.
This particular malware is generally classified into adware, system monitors, tracking cookies, and trojans.
What should I know?
Beyond monitoring a user’s computer usage to collect information about them and their habits, spyware can collect almost any information entered into a user’s computer. This includes what they’re typing (keystrokes), personal email addresses, home address, and bank and credit account information.
Spyware can also change user’s computer settings, which can result in slow internet connection speeds, unauthorized changes in browser settings, and changes to software settings.
Examples of the Effects of Spyware
• A user’s web browser changes to a website or search engine they’ve never seen before.
• A toolbar appears in the user’s browser that they did not enable or have not seen before.
• Users are being inundated with pop-up ads when visiting a website.
• A user’s PC is running unusually slow.