What is Spyware? Definition

Spyware Definition

Spyware is spyware that can monitor users’ online behavior patterns. Spyware is any software that without the user’s knowledge collects information about their Internet browsing habits, email addresses, and even passwords and credit card numbers.

Once installed, the spyware monitors the user’s Internet activity and transmits that information in the background to another person through the user’s Internet connection.

Spyware applications are usually hidden components of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet, however, it should be noted that most shareware and freeware applications do not contain spyware.

What does Spyware mean?

The word Spyware is formed from a mixture of two words in English: “spy” which means spy, and “ware” means program.

What does Spyware do? How does it work?

A spyware robs the user of the memory resources of the computer and also the consumption of bandwidth to send the obtained information. Spyware uses the user’s Internet connection. Because spyware uses memory and system resources, it can cause system errors or general instability in running programs.

This type of malicious software can enter a computer as a software virus or as a result of installing a new program. Spyware is similar to a Trojan horse in that users unknowingly install the program when they install another application.

A common way to become a victim of spyware is to download pirated or licensed programs offered for free on the Internet.

Spyware is considered malware or malicious software because it occupies your computer’s memory resources and consumes Internet bandwidth by sending the collected information to the software’s creator.

Spyware is distributed in stand-alone executable programs, having the ability to monitor keystrokes, analyze files on the hard drive, spy on other applications such as word processors or chat programs, install other spyware programs, read cookies, changing the default home page in the web browser, constantly relaying the information to the author of the spyware who will use it for advertising purposes, either to market or sell the information to third parties.

Examples of Spyware

Some examples of spyware or spyware are:

  • FunFisher – (FinSpy) is a high-end surveillance program sold to law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
  • CoolWebSearch – a group of programs, exploits vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer
  • Internet Optimizer – (DyFuCa) redirects Internet Explorer error pages to advertisements.
  • Onavo – Used by Facebook to monetize user usage habits.

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