What is spyware?

 

What is spyware?

  • Spyware is an illicit surveillance tool that is loaded onto a computer without a user’s knowledge to monitor user activity.

  • Spyware may be designed to track keystrokes, email logging, instant message usage and snapshots.

  • Some spyware is simply annoying, tracking information about computer usage, while other forms of spyware may be designed to steal personal data and passwords or to allow attackers to remotely control a computer.

Most computer users have heard warnings about the dangers of spyware, but few understand exactly how these technology works. What is spyware, how dangerous is it and what can a user do to prevent it?

Here’s a brief introduction to “What is spyware?” that answers these questions and others.

What is spyware?

Spyware is a program that is installed on a computer, usually without a user’s consent, to secretly gather information about a user’s activity.

What is spyware designed to do?

Spyware may be designed to gather data about a user’s browsing habits and computer usage, or to log a user’s keystrokes to steal login credentials or payment information. Some spyware, known as “browser hijackers,” can change a user’s homepage and preferred search engine. And spyware known as “remote access Trojans (RATS)” may allow attackers to remotely control a computer.

What is spyware vs. adware?

Adware is a type of software that is installed on a computer with a user’s permission, usually in exchange for a free download of a file or program. Adware is not designed to gain illicit access to a computer or to mislead users. Spyware, on the other hand, is designed to access a computer without the user’s knowledge.

What is spyware’s impact on a computer?

Spyware can cause computer performance and Internet connectivity to degrade and slow down. Spyware may also generate unwanted pop-ups and ads, or send information about browsing habits to a third party.

What is spyware prevention?

Anti-spyware technology is designed to identify and eradicate spyware, and to prevent spyware from being downloaded to a computer in the first place.

What is spyware prevention technology from Spectrum Enterprise?

As a leading provider of fiber Internet access to America’s largest businesses, Spectrum Enterprise offers anti-spyware technology in a security suite designed to protect business data against cyber threats. Spectrum Enterprise’s security software helps to block spyware as well as viruses, spam and malicious email attachments to improve network security.