Spyware also pronounce spy ware is a piece of software that design to spy and steal information from an infected computer, the spying methods of spyware can be recording key stroke to get private password and sensitive login information for web sites like banks.
Spyware can also be used to track your online activity for statistics and to recommend you on a sites that are alike the one you used to enter, it can also use to force you unwanted home page and unwanted popup that may include sexual and pills materials.
Another type of spyware can be a Trojan that may install on your system and can do all kind of stuff to your system, like open a backdoor, download more malwares in to your computer and so on.
The best way to fight spyware is to install antivirus software, anti-malware software run them on a regular basis and update the software file definition, I also recommended using some tools that not required installation, more about it in this article.
Malware worth money:
Another aspect that need to be taken into consideration in related to spyware is that there are a lot of money involved in this field, the stolen information can be sold for a high price to someone that need it and know how to use it, think what a database of 1 million users with emails, phone number and address can do for a company that send spam messages.
To prevent infection and to be able to use spyware removal tools you have to be a security aware user, we all read or hear on the news about hacker hacking into organization stealing sensitive data, most of the time that data can be related to us, a user that use the hack site.
Spyware removal as the human virus:
Like in real life, when we have a virus we need to take a medicine to be cure from that virus, like in real life, we can immune our self for some of viruses, by getting a vaccine on a regular basis and prevent, not 100%, the infection of that virus, most of the time if the vaccine is good and we do get ill by that virus, it is much easier to our body to fight that virus and the illness can be easy for us.
Also for spyware, we can use some tools that we can install on our system, we can also make a non-install spyware removal arsenal tools that we can use on a regular basis, but let me give you a tip, and that is probably the best tip that you can get in related to malware in general and spyware in particular think before acting, let me explain you why.
Think before act:
First you need to understand spyware like any other type of malware is a file, a file that when it run it start doing something that can be flag as problematic, if no one run this file it can’t harm your system.
Spyware can be attach to another legit file, for example you can download a new game from some ware and a spyware can be attached into one of the executable game files and once this file run the spyware will also start running and start doing what it designs to do – infecting your system.
Spyware can be hiding in images, in URL and can be send over by emails and social network, so to think before act means when you thinking to press on an image that was send to you look if the image is a link, right click it and copy the link check in google if that link is a legit site, a document or a malicious site that will install a spyware into your system.
Antivirus software, using some sort of algorithm to try and identify if file is legit, a type of malware or Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP), there are 2 main scanning methods that antivirus using.
The first is against a database that contain signature of files that known as malwares, every antivirus vendor hold a signature of files that are malware, then they classifying them into a signature using this method it can flag new variant of know malware as malware.
In the old days, you used to generate a file signature and then the antivirus scanner just compare the current testing file signature with its database, and if it gets a match it flags it as malware, due the fact that every bit of change to the file change it signature, this technique was less officiant.
So, the classification method was created, this method the created signatures are from part of the file and most of them are common to more than one type of malware and also to new variant of then malware.
The easiest way to understand heuristic scanning is to think about list of common function to all the malwares and then give each function a number and when scanning a file if the score it gets is more than a selected number we can flag it as malware.
A basic example will say that if the file is using a file packer, which is common in malwares we can rise to the score, if the file tries to copy itself to another file, we can also rise the score.
The big disadvantage that was to the heuristic method was false positive, means we flag files as malware even if they were not malware, modern antivirus is manage to reduce it to zero false positive now days.
It started as a side kick tool to Antivirus, with the changes in the security terms, and the new variants of viruses or alike, a new term create malware, the general term that under it contain viruses, trojan, spyware, rootkit, adware and more.
Antimalware supposed to be a fuller security tool due to its name it need to find and remove all types of malwares, include trojans, viruses, spyware, adware, worms, rootkits, phishing etc. with that in mind today antivirus and antimalware scan, find and remove all types of malwares, so you are covered from both of them, the cool thing is that they can live together on the same device.
If you ask me, use both, this is like getting another opinion about your problem, let them both scan your system in trying to find malware that can hard your system
Arsenal tools to have:
We need some tools in out arsenal to fight spyware and other types of malware, to start with we need to understand what we have out there, we have to types of tools, we have free tools that gives you basic features and paid tools that can give you some additional features.
There is some free antivirus that you can download from the internet, that will give you the option to scan files, delete infected files, free updates and areal time monitoring to catch virus as they come in.
Same goes to anti-malware tools, there are free that you can download, and install, most of the free version does not include real time protection in them.
Other than Antivirus and Antimalware there are some other tools that you need to know about, they are tools that does not require installation and can be run on demand, you can also download them from the internet into a folder that you can put on a USB disk to check other computers that you have, you can run them from the USB device.
With the rise of mobile devices like tablets and smartphones it was just a meter of time till we can find malware to mobile devices, so they are here for quite a long time and they are here to stay, as today every one uses its device for a lot of task from payments, banks, social account and more, the devices are getting stronger from hardware perspective and use in home network and connected to other devices, like your home PC.
Mobile device is another option to malware writer to spread the malicious code, in mobile devices they can steal sensitive information, spread to other devices, use it to enter block locations and more.
As today we look on vulnerabilities as options to use for spreading malwares, and hacking into systems, mobile devices has a lot of tools and games that still need to be investigated as this is probably the next step in security.
Today, you can download free antivirus for your mobile device, and you should do it if you haven’t done it yet, as it is important to make your device as secure as possible, there are a lot of private information on phone devices, same role here as in your local PC, awareness and thinking, as we all use our mobile for email, social and other online activities, we need to think before we do.
Emails are one of the mostly usage method to spreads spywares and other types of malware, it can be usage to target organizations by sending email to list of users in an organization, if one of the users will press the link in the email the entire organization can be infected.
Using that the attacker can gain access into sensitive organization data, like customers, user data central database and so on.
One of the stronger security method that are in use and include machine learning technique is the email spammer, that base on all kind of parameters can flag emails as spam, automatically delete them or send them into the spam/junk folder in your email.
We all know Facebook the bigger social network, this social network knows a lot of information about people, due to the fact that people share all their life in that network, the think before act is really relevance to Facebook, you have to remember that everything you send online stay online, and can be used to identify you.
In Facebook, you need to verify that you apply all the security option that you have to make your account safe from hackers, and also from other spammers, that can use your account to spam your wall and friends.
You also need to be aware that pressing on images in Facebook can lead to a phishing site that can be used to hack your account, and no I do not say that you should not press on images or links, just think before you press, do you know the user that send you the link, how many users press this link, if you move you mouse on the link see to what site it point.
LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and other social networks:
What true for Facebook is true for other social networks, images may contain phishing links and links may be phishing, the best way is to check the link before you click it, there are a lot of shorten URL services, that let you take a long URL and make it short.
If you unsure about a URL you can use an un-short URL to see what the real site is, most of the services are free to use and you can find them on the internet with a small search, I found out that some of the links lead to a sexual content for example.
In can of downloading a compress file (like zip, rar etc.) I will recommend you to let your antivirus scan the compress file and the file inside it to verify that it does not contain some sort of spyware.
P2P networks like torrents:
I am not going to write a lot about it, just make sure your antivirus software is installed and up to date, so you are covered from that side, in case there will be some kind of spyware or other malware in the downloaded file, also make sure the P2P software you are using are also in the latest version, as latest version supposed to be with the last fix and patches.
Public WiFi environment – your loved coffee shop:
Today we have a free WIFI almost everywhere, and we like to connect our laptop, table and smartphone to that free WIFI, we need to remember that public networks can be use by everyone and some of the users that may use it may be hackers that use a sniffing tool to catch passwords over the network, my recommendations are to reduce the use of public network to enter sensitive account, like your bank account.
To close all this long article, I would like to mention backup, yes, we all know about it, and if we lose our data once we start to make backups of everything.
Backup is important to do as part of our weekly task, we all take ton of pictures, write articles and other thing that we need to back up in case something happens.
In case of mobile devices, you can configure automatic backup to one of the cloud service, the imported thing is that we make another copy of our data.
Online backup can be use one of the cloud service, starting with free account and depending on your needs pay for more. It can be used also from your local computer using a tool that can sync and upload files that had been change, or uploading the files manually by you.
Offline backup is using an external device, like USB hard drive and to copy the data to that hard drive, you can also find tool to automate the process of coping your file to the external disk, keep in mind that you will also have to transfer your file from your mobile device into that external hard disk.
In general, it is very recommended to make backup of your data, in case of a problem like spyware other malware or even an electricity fault, your data may be damage or deleted, with a regular data backup process you can save you data! Keep that in mine.
As a conclusion to this article, I would like to mention that there are spyware and malware and other malicious that may harm your device, use some of the free tools, like antivirus and antimalware to protect your system, but always be aware as awareness to what you are pressing on, installing and using it up to you.
Hope you enjoy the article, pleas share with us all your thought, recommendations and comments, and if you like it or it helps you please share it with your friend on your social network.