What is spyware and how to defend yourself

Spyware is just one of the many malware out there whose main goal is to accumulate sensitive user information

There are several tools available to hackers to infect victims' devices and accomplish their goals. Among these weapons, some of them very powerful and capable of causing huge damages, there are also spywares, malicious programs used to spy on the affected devices.

A spyware is just one of the many malwares in circulation. Its main objective is to accumulate information. The data collected by the malicious program is generally sent to hackers. Spyware is also very devious. In fact, it often hides inside free programs. In other cases, the virus is adept at finding holes in browsers and sneaking into the system without asking victims for "help". What makes spyware one of the most dangerous threats is that they are sometimes difficult to find and block, before they are able to land on the devices.

How spyware works

As mentioned, the purpose of a malware is to spy on the victims. For example, the virus collects information about their online habits. In such cases, usually the malicious program is used by hackers to make tailored advertisements. And that's not all.

Spyware is very dangerous because it can access a lot of confidential data, either contained in the affected devices or included in various social accounts. A virus, belonging to this malware family, is able to acquire passwords and other access credentials, such as banking credentials. The booty, once collected, is forwarded to a server that is normally managed by the spyware authors themselves.

It takes advantage of the victims' superficiality

It is legitimate to wonder about the modus operandi of the spyware in order to understand how to protect oneself. The malicious program is often delivered through some freeware programs, i.e. software available for free on the Internet. In fact, users install the virus at the same time as the program.

It also happens that spyware attacks the victim because the victim is not protected by any up-to-date security tool. In some cases, the virus infiltrates the system because the victim superficially clicked on an unknown link or an advertising banner.

How to Protect Yourself

Protecting yourself from hackers and any kind of malware means, above all, avoiding some risky behaviors. First of all, surfing the net without an antivirus means opening the doors of your pc to spyware. Then, it is not enough to download a protection software to block the virus if the program is not updated frequently. Just as it's important to download the latest operating system updates. And not only that. Remember not to download freeware from insecure sites and platforms.

Finally, do not forget to read the software's terms of use before accepting it. In fact, many developers often write that the program may collect user data in order to avoid legal disputes.