Spyware is a type of malicious software (malware) that is installed on a computing device without the user’s knowledge or permission. It is used to gather information about the user’s activity, such as surfing habits, application usage, keystrokes, and data stored on the hard drive. The gathered information is then used to create targeted advertisements, steal the user’s identity, or monitor the user’s activity. It is often installed without the user’s knowledge or consent through malicious websites, spam email, or through exploits in existing security holes.
Once spyware is installed on the user’s computer, it is difficult to remove, as it is designed to evade detection and prevent the user from uninstalling it. In order to remove it, antivirus programs, specialized software and online scanners must be used.
Spyware is often bundled with other forms of malware such as worms, viruses, and adware. It is also used as part of a larger scheme known as “phishing,” which targets users for financial gain or identity theft.
Spyware poses a serious security risk to both individuals and organizations. To prevent the installation of spyware, users should use strong passwords, use antivirus and anti-spyware software, and avoid clicking suspicious links.
– Barr, L. (2020). What is Spyware?. Norton. Available: https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-privacy-what-is-spyware.html
– Dalton, L. (2016). How Spyware Works. HowStuffWorks. Available: https://computer.howstuffworks.com/spyware.htm
– McLean, M. (2014). Beware of Spyware!. FBI. Available: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/beware-of-spyware