Spyware is a program on computers that monitors a computer’s activity without their permission. The software can lead to privacy issues such as identity fraud, data theft and online stalking. It can also result in an increase in the speed of your PC. Some spyware programs are used ethically by parents to watch their children and spouses online to avoid safety concerns.
Spyware’s primary function is to gather personal information without consent of the user. Private information may include browsing history, email addresses, passwords, as well credit card information. This information is sold to criminals, hackers and third party companies to assist in identity fraud.
In addition to taking information, spyware can redirect web searches and display endless pop-up ads on desktops or laptops. It may also alter the configuration of a computer system and hinder its performance by consuming memory, CPU power and hard disk space. This can lead to problems that range from application freezing to connectivity problems.
Anti-spyware shields PCs from malware by scanning and removing malicious programs from the computer system. It also helps to prevent the spread of spyware by blocking websites that host the spyware. Additionally, it is advised that users download applications only from trusted options and avoid opening attachments on emails. It is vital to install pop-up blocking software across all browsers in order to stop spyware from tracking user’s activities and sending this information to advertisers.