Spyware means any software that can get information from your Laptop and Desktop computer without your prior knowledge. There are two classes of spyware: ( Domestic and Commercial ). Domestic spyware is a software that you buy and it acts like a watchdog. It tracks down the behavioral patterns of your internet activity. Business owners buy this type of software so that they can look into the online activities of their employees. Parents can even buy this type of software so that they can look into the internet activities of their children. All you need is a computer network and these things can be done. A third party can also install this software onto your Laptop or Desktop without your knowing it. These criminal hackers will do this to get valuable information from you. Commercial Spyware is known as adware. Companies that usually sell things use this kind of software to track down what you do on the internet and then they sell the information to marketers. These marketers will then send you advertising ads that will fit your needs. Never click on suspected malicious links or any link that you are uncomfortable with. It may be disastrous because you might be allowing hackers to steal your important passwords.
Here are the most common spywares:
1. Chat loggers and email recorders - These types of Domestic spyware will make a duplicate copy of all your chats, outgoing and incoming email.
2. Keyloggers and Password recorder - When this type of spyware enters your laptop or desktop computer it will record any key entry you make on your keyboard. It is risky because someone out there is on the prowl looking at every key entry you make. Passwords can be stolen
3. Internet URL loggers and screen recorders - This Domestic spyware looks in to whatever you are doing online. URL loggers record the sites that you visit. Screen recorders take photos of your screen every time it is changed.
4. Browser Hijacking - There are a lot of hijackers on the web and they accomplish this by putting a lot of traffic stats on their website. Their aim is to have higher advertising revenues.
5. Web Bugs - This is just annoying because you will have a lot of pop up ads showing even if you are not online.
6. Modem Hijacking – If you are using a telephone modem for your internet needs, you can be at risk. No passwords are stolen but it will install an online dialer. These may come in spam and porn emails. Never click on these type of emails. This will install a new internet connection that may be real expensive. You will get shocked when you receive your next phone bill.
7. PC Hijacking – If you are using a high speed internet, you can become a primary target. These criminal hackers will use your IP address to send a lot of spam emails. You will not know but you will be receiving many complaints about spam emails coming from your IP address.
8. Trojans and Viruses - Trojans may seem harmless but for me it is not. It can destroy your data, copy it and even distribute it. A virus is almost the same, it can repeatedly copy itself and it can damage many computers. Trojans can also be used to transfer a malicious virus or other spywares without being detected by an anti – virus program.
My advice is that people using Laptops and Desktops must get a reliable anti – spyware program.