"Computer Spyware - What Methods They Use to Sneak Onto Your Computer?"

Computer spyware is malicious software (malware) that spies on you by stealing keystrokes, passwords, or other personal data and delivers it to a third party.

Spyware is often installed without your knowledge and watches your computer habits, compromising your privacy. It is usually written and distributed for someone's personal monetary gain, and is generally well hidden in long licenses you agree to when downloading and installing software.

Computer Spyware is also annoying because it pushes unwanted advertising at you. Pop-up ads appear on your desktop or when you are browsing the Internet. And because it is spying on you, it pushes ads at you that it thinks you'll click on.

If that's not enough, spyware can clog your system's memory and use space on your hard drive, causing performance slowdowns. It can get so cloggy that it'll make your computer unusable.

Computer spyware can make changes to almost any part of your computer, including changes to your Internet home page or what you see when performing an Internet search.

Spyware can also cause system slow downs, install malicious toolbars, and collect Internet browsing history data, including passwords and personal information. It can even make changes to the Windows Registry. At best, it's a nuisance; at worst, it's all a person needs to steal your identity or disable your computer.

How Spyware Sneak Onto Your Computer?

There are various ways that a computer spyware can get onto your PC, here are a variety of sneaky techniques including:

  • It arrives as an automatic download from a website you are surfing. If you visit naughty websites, you got the higher chances being infected by the spyware.
  • You can be tricked into clicking on a link that downloads spyware from a website. If you are experiencing pop-up that telling you that you've won a prize are a prime example.
  • Spyware can be embedded in the installation process of a free or pirated piece of software you download or from CD/DVD.
  • Email attachment from unknown or unreliable sources shouldn't be opened.
  • Computer that run under network environment. If any computer in a network are infected, possibility that the spyware will spread to the other computers in the network.

Of course the methods here are the most commonly ways a computer can be infected by a spyware. So, once you know you should be more careful and taking the necessary steps to prevent and safeguard your computer from spyware.

Signs of Computer Spyware

If your computer starts to behave strangely or displays any of the symptoms, you may have spyware or other unwanted software installed on your computer. The following are some of the most common sign of sypware:

I see pop-up advertisements all the time.

Some unwanted software will bombard you with pop-up ads that aren't related to a particular Web site you're visiting such as adult sites. If you see pop-up ads as soon as you turn on your computer or when you're not even browsing the Web, you may have spyware infected on your computer.

My computer seems abnormal.

Spyware may use the computer resources to track your activities and deliver advertisements results in slowing down your computer and errors in the software can make your computer crash. If you notice a sudden increase in the number of times a certain program crashes, or if your computer is slower than normal at performing routine tasks, you may have spyware on your computer.

My settings have changed and I can't change them back to the way they were.

Some unwanted software has the ability to change your home page or search page settings. This means that the home page or the page that appears when you select "search" may be pages that you do not recognize. Even if you know how to adjust these settings, you may find that they revert back every time you restart your computer.

My Web browser contains additional components that I don't remember downloading.

Spyware also may add additional toolbars to your Web browser that you don't want or need. Even if you know how to remove these toolbars, they may return each time you restart your computer.

Unexpected changes to your browser homepage settings

If your web browser starts opening to a web page you've never seen before, your computer is likely infected with a browser hijacker.

Unusual search results

When you search for something on the Internet, a strange or unexpected search site produces results. Your web browser has probably been redirected by spyware to a search engine of its choosing.

Software malfunction

If a program you use was working fine and then one day it won't start or it produces weird errors, it could be that spyware has corrupted files it requires to run or messed with the way it works.

I just listed some of the signs of the computer spyware, there are actually plenty of possible signs a PC being infected by the spyware.

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