Spyware is malicious computer software designed to gather personal data from a device in order to send it to other third-party apps or companies without the consent or knowledge of the user.
Why Is Spyware Harmful?
Since Spyware steals a person’s information and sends it others, it can put the person in all sorts of situations; whether it’s receiving bills for unintended purchases, private information being leaked to the public, or preventing signing in to the user’s Apple or Google Play account to download music and apps. In other words, spyware ruins lives.
How Does Spyware Infect Devices?
Spyware infects a person’s devices in the following ways:
- Clicking on a suspicious looking prompt or pop-up window
- Opening email attachments from an unknown person
- Downloading software and other forms of media from an unsecured website
Signs of a Spyware-Infected Device
- Slow performance and unexpected crashes
- Lack of hard drive and/or cloud storage
- Icons to programs that are downloaded without user permission
Spyware Prevention Tips
To prevent spyware from infecting a device and ruining lives, consider using the following strategies:
- Avoid clicking on pop-up ads.
- Click on the trash icon when receiving emails that have recurring grammatical errors and containing messages where someone is asked to send personal information such as a bank account number or home address to solve a problem.
- Purchase reputable anti-virus software such as Norton or McAfee.