The internet comes with a certain level of risk and it probably goes without saying that using it exposes us to these risks. Many technologies are already monitoring our online activity from pixel trackers and cookies to session tracking. That's why when it comes to keeping yourself secure online, as a rule of thumb, you should always act as though someone is watching. We are not alone in what we do online and knowing this you should operate with a certain level of vigilance.
Moving on the non-legit side, the web is also full of several types of malware roaming around eager to jump into your computer, and among them, spyware is certainly the most sneaky and dangerous. You could also easily get one via phishing, so be aware of the emails you open. But...
What really is spyware?
Spyware is a piece of software sneaking into your device and starting running in the background, almost invisibly. While running, it listens to your activity and records relevant information stored on your computers such as personal information, usernames and passwords, payment information, emails, or even the websites you visit and the files you download. Once collected, it silently waits for a trigger to run additional software or share them with a remote computer.
Frequently connected to spyware is identity theft, leading to unwanted access to email clients, social media, and bank accounts. In addition, once into your device, you'll have a hard time getting rid of it, that's why it is better to prevent spyware infection to secure your important information.
Spyware come in the form of different software, intended to perform several tasks at once. There is not a unique "spyware" definition. However, the main functionalities of spyware include the following: keyloggers, bank trojans, infostealers, password stealers.
Protect your computer from malicious software
If you've got a malware infection or specifically a spyware on your computer, don't despair, it's not too late. There are a lot of malware scanner software and malware removal tools that can just get rid of them in a few clicks.
A spyware detector, usually combined with a spyware remover, may be enough to detect spyware in your PC and get rid of the unwanted virus but if it's not, you'd best access all your critical accounts (bank, email, social networks) and change all the passwords from a different device. That should add an additional layer of protection while preventing the malware from recording the new passwords.
As expected, things may also be not that simple and the detection and removal of spyware could be harder. As they are designed to hide and run in the background, spyware are usually quite complex to find.
Modern browsers are quite secure and don't let web applications dump files into your computer without your consent. Infections are usually a consequence of some human actions, like allowing a download or installing a component. That's why it is so important to adopt a critical surfing behavior.
For example, how many of you hover with your mouse to check the link you are about to click, before actually clicking? That's a best practice that lets you spot unwanted destinations before getting into trouble.
Another good piece of advice is on emails. Always check the email address of the sender. Quite often phishing attempts make use of email addresses that look almost like the ones they are supposed to be, but with little typos, punctuation signs here and there, and other small differences that should give you a heads up. Emails from unknown senders should always be handled with suspicious eyes.
Monitoring the activity of your computer is also a good method of prevention.
GlassWire is a free network monitoring and security tool with a built-in firewall that can easily increase the security of your device with a few clicks. At GlassWire, we provide a useful tool to keep track of the volume of data exchanged by the software running on your computer, so anyone can simply check for suspicious peaks in data exchange and block the responsible app if this is the case. It's also available for both Windows and Android devices. Learn more by visiting https://www.glasswire.com today.