Cyber Security: Adware and Spyware
Hi everyone, welcome back. Cyber security is an important area of focus. There is a whole lot of data that is being stored and transmitted digitally everyday. This includes sensitive data that could potentially cause damage to someone or even a whole company. We will go over adware and spyware and how to be protected against them. With this introduction out of the way, let’s get into it.
Adwares are programs that keeps popping up unwanted advertisements onto a computer. Adwares are capable of prompting ads on both the desktop and within a browser. This may cause performance issues such as slowing down a system or a browser. Many times, adware can be installed accidentally and again, many times, it gets installed with another piece of software. Attempting to remove adware using an unknown application is risky. It may be tempting to use an application that says it will remove adware, but that application itself may be malware. Always use a trusted source when removing adware.
Spyware is used to spy on an individual. Reasons may be to learn more about an individual to launch a social engineering campaign, identity theft, or a fraud attack. Many spywares are installed as trojan horses, in which the user thinks an application is a security software, but in reality, it’s spyware. Spyware is capable of monitoring a user’s online browsing, and using a keylogger to capture user input. Keyloggers can capture usernames and passwords. Spywares are also capable of sending all this data back to the attacker. Often times, spyware can slow down a computer as it is constantly tracking what a user is doing.
There are many methods that can be used to protect against adware and spyware. Enabling a pop-up blocker or adblock can stop adware from constantly displaying ads. Maintaining anti-virus and anti-malware applications by keeping them up to date. Make sure to know what is being installed on a computer and keep an eye out during the installation process to see what is happening. Attackers don’t make it easy to uninstall adware or spyware once it’s installed. Having a backup of a system is always good to have, especially if it is difficult to remove any malicious programs.
We’ve gone over adware and spyware and how to protect against them. Keep up with the good security practices. I hope this helps. Thanks for reading.