How Does Spyware Get Installed on My PC?
This is probably one of the most frequent questions I get asked and the answer is really very simple. Most people have spyware on their computer because they have downloaded a small program that attaches itself to the Windows operating system in one form or another.
At this point you may be thinking, “hang on a minute a Mike, there is no way I would download spyware!”. Bingo! – This is the exact aim of spyware hackers and developers, to trick and disguise spyware so that it is hidden in what seems normal and perfectly safe software, files, emails and even internet toolbar applications.
Different Types of Spyware
There are millions of spyware files floating on the internet and most of them are derived from a parent spyware category, here are some of the most common types of spyware that you should be aware of:
1. Adware – this is spyware downloaded on to a PC that is designed to advertise a product or service, in forms of pop-ups, pop-unders and internet toolbars.
2. Malware – otherwise known as malicious software, malware is a general term that is used to describe software that may contain keyloggers, rootkits and other information grabbing spyware.
3. Trackware – A less common type of spyware, trackware is different to both adware and malware in that it tracks many different types of information on a PC and then sends this data to a remote location.
The Most Dangerous Forms of Spyware
The worst types of spyware you should be worried about are the RAT (remote administration tool) related programs. These nasty spyware packets have the ability to record your key strokes, extract password information and even steal credit card information. To hide the identity of the people responsible for carrying out these attacks a third party server is set up where the stolen information is then relayed too. Identity theft is big business so there is a real need for everyone to be fully protected from the most dangerous forms of spyware.
Effective Ways of Blocking Spyware
In order to stop spyware from being installed on your computer you need to have a resident anti-spyware application installed that meets the hefty demands of modern spyware threats. Free anti-spyware often lacks some required features like an automatic database update facility and proper customer support.