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What Is Spyware? Types and How to Remove it?

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Most people have no idea what spyware is, let alone the different types of spyware. Spyware is malware that installs itself on a computer and collects information about them, such as its web browsing history and passwords.

It can also be used to track the user’s location and activities. While malicious hackers install some spyware, it can also be installed inadvertently by clicking on a link in an email or opening an attachment.

Thankfully, there are ways to remove spyware from your computer if you suspect that you have been infected. Keep reading for more information on spyware and how to protect yourself from it.

What is Spyware and How Is It Installed on Your Computer?

Spyware is a term used to describe computer programs installed on your computer without your knowledge. It is intended to give the person who put their access to some of your personal information. 

Spyware can be installed on your computer in several ways, including bundled software, spam emails, infected websites, and exploiting vulnerabilities in your computer’s security. It is essential to be very careful about what you download and install onto your computer and ensure that your security software is up-to-date.

Five Common Types of Spyware

Although there are several types of spyware but the most common are as follows:

  1. Malware

Malware can spread spyware in several ways, including through drive-by downloads, exploitations of vulnerabilities in your computer’s security, and masquerading as legitimate software. It is essential to be very careful about what you download and install onto your computer and ensure that your security software is up-to-date.

  1. Spybot

Spybot is a type of malware that can spread spyware, but other ways include drive-by downloads, infected websites, or spam emails. 

  1. Keyloggers

Keyloggers are a type of spyware that can be used to track what you type on your computer. They can be installed through drive-by downloads, infected websites, infected USBs, or spam emails. They also get within your system without your knowledge or consent and can be difficult to remove. 

  1. Infostealers

An infostealer is a type of malware designed to steal your personal information, such as your passwords, bank account details, and credit card numbers. It can also be used to take control of your computer, allowing the attacker to access your files and use your computer to launch attacks against other computers. Moreover, they are often installed through drive-by downloads or by exploiting your computer’s security vulnerabilities.

  1. Trojans

Trojans are a type of malware often installed on computers without the user’s knowledge. They are named after the Trojan Horse from Greek mythology because they are often hidden inside other programs or files that appear to be harmless. It steals your personal information, installs other malware on your computer, or even uses your computer to launch attacks against other computers.

Symptoms of Spyware Infection

Several symptoms can indicate that your computer is infected with spyware. These include:

  • Your computer is running slower than usual.
  • You see more pop-ups or ads than usual.
  • Your computer is crashing or freezing more often than normal.
  • Internet browser behaves strangely, such as redirecting you to different websites or opening new tabs without your permission.
  • Your personal information, such as passwords or bank account details, has been stolen.
  • Your computer is being used to launch attacks against other computers.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, your computer is likely infected with spyware, and you should take steps to remove the program.

How to Remove Spyware From Your System?

There are several steps that you can take to remove spyware from your computer, including:

  • Scanning your computer with anti-spyware software
  • Manually removing the spyware programs from your computer
  • Resetting your internet browser settings
  • Restoring your computer to a previous state

It is important to note that removing spyware can be a complicated process, and it is not always possible to completely remove all traces of the program. If you are having difficulty removing spyware from your computer, you should consult a professional for assistance.

Final Thoughts

Spyware is indeed a malicious program that puts your data at risk. Various types of spyware software have been found, and they all work with different malicious intent. However, you can always take precautions like those mentioned above and get rid of spyware infecting your device. 

Start using the best anti-spyware software and stop any further spyware from infecting your device. 

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Waqas is a cybersecurity journalist and writer who has a knack for writing technology and online privacy-focused articles. He strives to help achieve a secure online environment and is skilled in writing topics related to cybersecurity, AI, DevOps, Cloud security, and a lot more. As seen in: Computer.org, Nordic APIs, Infosecinstitute.com, Tripwire.com, and VentureBeat.

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