How To Avoid SpywareWhat is Spyware? Spyware is malicious software that is hidden in a computer. It monitors a user’s activities. It then sends the information to the spyware’s designer. Some of the activities are surfing habits, confidential information such as passwords and online banking details. Spyware usually enters a computer when a user unexpectedly downloaded it. These downloads include free software programs such as games or speed booster applications. The user can run these programs as per normal on the foreground once the user agrees to the end-user license agreement (EULA). However, the spyware will monitor activities and extract information in the background. In most cases, the EULA actually clearly states the spyware’s malicious activities. But most users do not actually read EULAs. This is because they are lengthy and have many technical jargon. Spyware cause different levels of problems to a user. On a basic level, it will retrieve data on the user’s surfing methods. Then it displays ads for certain related products without the user’s approval. Spyware can also seize control of your computer. It will then send emails with malicious attachments to your contacts. In the worst case scenario, spyware will use your computer to store and even steal illegal data, images and personal information. How to Avoid Spyware Criminals utilise many ways to infect your computer with spyware. Hence, it is prudent to protect your computer from spyware. While it may not be completely possible to prevent yourself from becoming a spyware victim, you can take several steps to avoid it.
- Do not download free programs from unreliable sources. These include dubious websites or suspicious email attachments. The attachments may have malicious spyware. Remember to read the EULA if you do download programs before installing them. Do not install the program if you think it is dubious.
- Ensure your computer operating system is updated with the latest versions or features. This helps to protect your computer from new and potentially dangerous spyware.
- Install and update your computer anti-virus software and firewall. Anti-virus softwares and firewalls are good protective barriers for you computer. However, criminals are creating new spyware every time. Therefore, your anti-virus software and firewalls must be updated to protect your computer against them.
- Avoid clicking on a pop-up or ad about free anti-spyware software. These are usually spyware disguised as legitimate softwares. The spyware will infect your computer once you click on the ad. Always visit the anti-spyware company’s legitimate website to look for the software instead.