Computer users face many threats. Atlantek Computers LTD has been dealing with infected computers, tablets and phones for decades. We didn’t have a one day without a customer dropping a laptop full of viruses or spyware to one of our shops. Some dangerous software however we do not even know about, and if we do not know what threatens us, we cannot protect ourselves effectively. One of them is spyware. The name is a bit strange and does not say much, so today we will try to bring you closer to the subject.
Spyware that users often unknowingly install on their computer or mobile device.
This is a very general term because spyware varies. The purpose of spyware is to collect information and data. They connect to the operating system and run in the background.
No matter how spyware modifies hardware, it always causes damage. Spyware is also difficult to detect and not so easy to remove. It should also be said that it does not work like a normal virus. It does not replicate itself and does not damage the data or the device itself. It is even worse, as spyware malfunctions and detection problems lead to the theft of important data. Often it is even difficult to determine who they are.
Spyware can detect
what keys have been pressed,
web form data,
credit card numbers.
The risks are easy to imagine. From the loss of private data to the risk of losing money. Spyware is a real threat to all users. They should not be underestimated and you should know how to protect yourself effectively.
How to recognise spyware?
As we have already mentioned, spyware is very difficult to detect. However, it is not impossible and certain symptoms should arouse suspicion.
Toolbars and search engines that we have not added ourselves are reasons to suspect that your device contains spyware.
Notification windows or pop-up advertisements may indicate the presence of spyware.
General system downtime, repeated and frequent data downloads can also be the result of underlying spyware.
In many cases, spyware puts a heavy load on your computer. The load on the processor or RAM increases and often the network traffic is overloaded as well.
Types and formats of spyware
Technology is constantly evolving and so are new viruses. If we were to classify the types and classes of spyware as simply as possible, we would have to divide them into four basic categories: adware, cookies (surprising, isn’t it?), Trojans and surveillance systems. Let’s take a look at the most popular spyware.
Keylogger – one of the most popular types of spyware, which most of you have probably heard of. It is used to track keystrokes.
Adware – irritating advertisements that take the user to a different website than intended. Do not expect it to be a safe place.
Trojans – very dangerous as they obtain login details and passwords. Not uncommon in the banking sector.
Web beacons: images, usually attached to emails, that can be used to track user behaviour, such as whether an email has been opened and what interactions have taken place.
Rootkits – hackers can install tools that allow them to remotely access hardware.
Cookies – some may find this interesting, but cookies are a form of spyware. They are much less harmful and many users accept them, but they can also be used to track us online.
How do you detect spyware on your computer and phone?
The symptoms mentioned above may indicate that our computer or phone is running a spyware virus in the background. For desktop computers and laptops like the ones you can buy from Atlantek Online IT Shop, we can also check what programmes start automatically when the computer starts.
How to detect spyware in Task Manager
Spyware stores a lot of data, so if you are regularly losing disk space, this may also be a sign of spyware.
On phones, there are two main symptoms: fast battery drain and fast mobile data consumption.
How do you detect spyware that drains your battery?
If you notice these symptoms, it’s worth checking which apps are consuming the most resources.
How to detect spyware data leaks
Well-known anti-spyware and anti-virus programmes are also useful.
How to block spyware?
The most effective defence is awareness and knowledge. They often enable us to avoid infecting our devices. What does this mean?
Software of unknown origin will not be installed.
We check the files attached to messages.
We protect all sensitive data. For example, we only use password encryption or password management software.
The use of a firewall is fine and often quite useful. Above all, an anti-spyware programme is necessary. Many common anti-virus programmes can also remove or block spyware infections.
How can spyware be removed?
Some antivirus software has integrated anti-spyware software, which can be useful. However, it should be noted that not all of them have these features. There are also programmes that remove spyware such as trojans. Note that these do not replace normal antivirus programmes. They are excellent supplements.
They are among the most popular and at the same time most effective programmes for detecting spyware.
IObit Malware Fighter.
Prefer antivirus software with integrated anti-spyware?
Norton or McAfee
Norton, McAfee or Avira