Introduction To Spyware

Spyware is one of the fastest-growing internet threats.  According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, spyware infects more than 90% of all PCs today.  These unobtrusive, malicious programs are designed to silently bypass firewalls and anti-virus software without the user’s knowledge.  Once embedded in a computer, it can wreak havoc on the system’s performance while gathering your personal information.  Fortunately, unlike viruses and worms, spyware programs do not usually self-replicate.

 

Where does it come from?

Typically, spyware originates in three ways.  The first and most common way is when the user installs it.  In this scenario, spyware is embedded, attached, or bundled with a freeware or shareware program without the user’s knowledge.  The user downloads the program to their computer.  Once downloaded, the spyware program goes to work collecting data for the spyware author’s personal use or to sell to a third-party.  Beware of many P2P file-sharing programs.  They are notorious for downloads that posses spyware programs.

 

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