What is spyware?
Spyware is infiltration software that secretly monitors unsuspecting users. It can allow a hacker to obtain sensitive information such as passwords from the user's computer. Spyware exploits user and application vulnerabilities and is often clicked on free online software downloads or on links that users click.
Peer-to-Peer (P2P) file sharing has increased the spread of spyware and its impact.
Anti-spyware applications scan for and remove spyware and are recommended as a preventive line of defense against infiltration and damage.
Anti-virus software removes PC viruses, but anti-virus scans do not always detect spyware. Spyware and cookies are similar, but spyware does the infiltration activity continuously until it is removed by special anti-spyware tools.
Users should take the following precautions to prevent spyware attacks:
- Maintain anti-virus and anti-spyware updates and patches.
- Download only from known and reputable sites.
- Use a firewall for increased security.