spyware.jpgSpyware is software designed to monitor computer activities and makes use of personal information. At a minimum, this may be used to monitor browsing habits and tailor advertising delivered on pages; on the other hand it may also be used to gather private details which may be used for identity theft. Other names for spyware or related programs include; malware, crimeware, PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) , adware, dialers, keyloggers, or spybots.

Spyware can be used to find out personal information. Malicious people can use this to monitor the daily activities on a PC. Spyware can be used to get financial information, such as account or credit card numbers and passwords which are entered with the keyboard. Such information can then be used to monitor financial transactions and commit fraud or money laundering

How can you prevent spyware being installed?

Anti-spyware will help to immunise against some software being installed, and will help to locate spyware already on a computer. The best way to protect a PC from spyware is before it gets installed. Most antivirus software will prevent common installation methods and help to protect a PC from malicious emails and website downloads.

Aside from preventing unwanted programs being installed, it will also help to be vigilant for bogus websites, malicious emails and fake software downloads.

Be wary of websites that ask you to download software.

Be wary of opening attachments from people you don’t know.

Be wary of hoaxes and scams.

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