There are many different types of spyware circulating around the internet these days, and there are many more forms of spyware being created every single day.
This isn’t to say that there are a lot of different versions of spyware that are doing virtually the same thing; what it does mean is this, various forms of spyware can act in many different ways depending on what information the creator wishes to extract from the infected computer.
In fact, not all of them are even spying in the traditional sense.
The following posts will explain five of the most common threats a spyware application can perform against you once your computer is infected.
Spyware Can Perform Keystroke Logging
What is Keystroke Logging? Every-time you type on your keyboard every letter and action is recorded and sent to the spyware creator.
This is perhaps one of the most widely known functions of spyware. It’s where the maliciously planted software tracks everything the computer user types. It is indiscriminate as to what information it gathers for it can all be sorted out later.
The result is an easily obtained collected of usernames and passwords, as well as the websites they go with. Of course, these applications can also gather things like banking information in the exact same manner.
Some Spyware Has Screen Capturing Capabilities
There are a few different terms for this depending on the specific function and method used, but in the end it’s the same thing basically. This form of spyware will capture screenshots of the infected computer.
URL monitoring would be used in this case as well so that the screenshots are only captured when the type of data being entered onto a website if worthy of the criminal to use.
This would include when you visit banking sites or even consumer sites where you are entering in credit card details to purchase a product or service.
Spyware Can Control Your Computer Remotely
Are you scared yet?
Because you really should be.
There are spyware applications that are created solely to take control of a home or business computer from anywhere in the world. This is very attractive to online hackers for many reasons including the fact that they can then use that infected computer as a source to send viruses, more spyware or simply spam whoever they wish and at anytime.
They do this in complete anonymity simply because all the files are being sent from the infected computer.
It could also be used to do little more than change settings at the hackers will, so as to make other things easier for them to get to such things as your personal details for identity theft or to simply withdraw money from your bank accounts.
Spyware Can Also Control Your Peripherals
The peripherals in question here would be the camera and the microphone in most situations. A good hacker can create spyware that turns those things on without the user’s knowledge.
This can be done at any given time and for a lot of different purposes. Some are simply to invade their privacy but when done to the right person it can be a way of attaining confidential information that’s spoken in a webcam, or for placing surveillance on a home or business for a robbery later on.
Spyware Also Tracks Where You Go Online
In this scenario the malicious software will be tracking what websites a computer visits. This can be done for a number of reasons. One is to work in tandem with screen capturing so that the spyware knows when the site being visited is a worthwhile target.
Another reason is to simply log a person’s habits and tastes so as to be able to tempt them with the most appropriate advertising later on.
In this last case the spyware isn’t always malicious and sometimes operates with user consent, however in saying that you really should be aware of what applications you are installing on your computer and who may or may not have external control of them.
Make sure you are protected from this growing threat online, use a spyware removal tool.
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