The obvious thought you would have in your mind before you set out to clean your system is — what is spyware, and how your system gets spyware? In simple words, spyware is an unwanted software installed in your system without your knowledge only to steal your sensitive information like bank details, passwords, credit card CVV and all private information without your consent and send this information to a hacker. And for that matter, Spyware is pretty hard to detect and on that your personal information will be compromised by a Spyware and hence, you need to know the basics on how to recognise and remove spyware from your device and this article will help you with it, period.
Firstly, let’s understand what exactly Spyware in detail — it is classified as a type of malware, a malicious software devised to gain access to steal or damage your computer, and mostly without your knowledge right under your nose, they’ll snoop away your sensitive details. So, what does spyware would do with your information? The sole purpose to gather your sensitive data is to sell it to a third party like advertisers, data firms, external users, dark web, sometimes even steal your identity or probably to win an election…just kidding!
Now, you’re wondering how did it get installed in your device even when you didn’t download it? Obviously, why would someone purposely risk their own information? Funny thing, malware software are disguised — like someone in incognito mode, which cannot be recognised just like that. Spyware monitors your internet activity, tracks all your login IDs and passwords, and everything else. So how did it get there? When you download unknown sourced software from third party websites, which in turn downloads spyware which in turn installs software without your knowledge changes your device settings which opens a portal for the hacker to steal your sensitive information.
Pro Tip: Secure your passwords, keep your devices updated, and don’t download the third party sourced software!
How did you get Spyware?
Spyware can affect PCs, Android users, Microsoft, and those running on iOS devices. However, the inevitable reality is that Windows operating systems are more prone to be affected by spyware malfunction. And it’s harder to penetrate through Apple’s firewall for a hacker, yet it can be hacked.
Some of the most common ways for your device to get spyware is by —
- Clicking on pop-up ads, cause some of them are interesting to look at
- Downloading software from third-party websites
- Checking and responding to emails from unknown senders
- Pirating media using torrents, like downloading movies, music or software for games
How to Recognise Spyware on your Device?
Now that we’ve established the fact that it’s hard to detect spyware that easily, but then there are some clues that can help you detect malware in your device. So, the following list will help you recognise the malware —
- Your device is running slow or crashes unexpectedly
- Your device is running out of hard drive space
- You get pop-ups when you offline and online
How to Remove Spyware?
Once you’ve discovered that your device is infected with spyware, the best option is to run a scan with your current security software to make sure your hard disks are clean. Now, the step is tricky so you have to be choosy, download and run a virus removal tool or simple go through your downloads. The minute you find unknown softwares installed, delete it immediately. Otherwise, there are well known anti-spyware removal tools in the market for you to choose from. And some of them work only when you authorise it. And few others spontaneously monitors your computer to make sure you don’t download spyware unknowingly.
Steps to Prevent Spyware
You’ve by now understood that spyware can be harmful and dangerous, but it can be removed and prevented by following these simple steps —
- Don’t entertain emails from unknown senders, throw it in trash
- Don’t download files or software from third party sources
- Don’t ever click on pop-up ads, that’s a boogey trap!
- Always use reputable anti-virus software, prefer to purchase it
If you’ve been infected with spyware malware, follow these steps to prevent the danger of your data being stolen. Make sure to be proactive in changing your passwords, never give access to third-party websites to login into your Google or Facebook accounts. Plus, make sure to watch over your online activities. And always be cautious!