Spyware isn’t definitively a malicious type of software nor is it always installed on a computer as the result of an unknown party’s deceit.
While it’s true that most of the spyware people are worrying about is the kind that is out to steal from them, theft isn’t the only intent at all. The following examples take a look at the uses and users of spyware.
Freeware Developers Have Been Known To Use Spyware
These are the guys who make free software but want to recoup their costs in advertising. The result is ads embedded in their software applications. For the most part users agree to those terms.
What the users don’t always know—and in all fairness, what the developers may not have always known—is that the firms that control the advertisements have installed spyware along with the other application.
Their spyware tracks a users basic surfing habits to better decide which ads to place on their screen.
Many Random Websites Can Use Spyware
No, not very specific, but incredibly common. Websites are known to install what are known as cookies on the computer of someone who visited the site. For the most part these aren’t at all malicious and don’t do any tangible harm. One of the purposes of cookies is to help websites learn about its repeat visitors.
Some people object to this on privacy grounds, and some antispyware applications are even known to block it. Most web browsers also give the option to allow or not allow them.
Those Having Marital Problems Are Also Known To Use Spyware
Yes the world has come to this. Whether it be a marriage issue or another personal issue altogether, one of the big uses of spyware these days is to dig up dirt on someone close to you. A suspicious person can, for instance, install key tracking spyware onto their spouse’s computer.
Then the software will covertly send back all of the things that that person typed. These programs may also send back information on websites that were visited.
Malicious Online Marketers Use Spyware
These are the ones who fool internet users to download and install what is seemingly legitimate software. They are also known to go to the extremes of creating websites that actually force or trick the browser into downloading the application.
Once installed the software will track someone’s habits and send them ads based on various factors. Those ads, however, will likely popup at all sorts of annoying times, and will often not stop.
Organized Crime Use Spyware
Imagine Al Capone sitting cozily in front of his desktop computer. Organized crime has reached the point of computer crimes. One of the more common things organized crime groups will use spyware is to get hold of as much personal information as they can about as many different people as they can.
That information can be used quite lucratively for identity theft.
Other Criminals Use Spyware
Another common way of using spyware for full out criminal purposes is to steal banking information. This isn’t hard once the right spyware is installed. It will send back information like bank account numbers and credit card numbers.
Both big scale crime and small scale crime take advantage of this possibility as well as identity theft.
A great application for effectively removing Malware and Spyware is Malware Bytes