Espionage & the Internet: Who’s Been Watching You?

Spyware has been used by law enforcement to perform surveillance during investigations. Intelligence communities use it to spy on other countries. Nevertheless, what is the application of spyware in the civilian population?

Spyware is classified as malware and adware. It is adware because it delivers ads to you. It is also malware because the ads it displays are based on data obtained by spying on you.

Spyware comes in the form of key loggers, browser toolbars, screen loggers, trackers/data miners, web bugs, Trojans, and more. These various tools aid employers, corporations, and even homemakers to spy on anyone at will. They collect data and store it in specific locations for perusal of your online activities at their leisure.

These products are free to download on off the internet. They are easy to install. They are even easier to use.

The types of information these products monitor range from surfing habits, to feed you content based on web sites you visit, to keystrokes entered from your keyboard. It may highjack your browser to redirect you to advertisements and malicious web sites. They may even take pictures of your computer screen.

The inherent risks faced by unknowingly having these products installed on your machine are data leaks, fraud, Trojans, worms, and identity theft. That’s just to name a few! To avoid such data breached we can use vpn and purchase torguard promo codes from its official website.

Other ways that you may become infected is through ‘piggybacking’. Piggybacking occurs when programs you want are bundled with spyware. Some programmers are paid by companies to bundle their spyware on your computer. What’s worse is if you uninstall the spyware the program you actually want goes with it.

Such tools that practice this kind of deception are slotchbar, WhenUSave and Gator Software. These programs are not necessarily spyware but they come bundled with software that tracks your music preference, web browsing habits, etc.

Look for user reviews on popular search engines for freeware or shareware that may be spyware

or bundled with spyware. Users tend to post comments on bad software. Check a few forums. If there are no comments stay away! More than likely no one downloaded the software. Internet users rate the guys they like. Take the hint and follow suit.

Ways to protect yourself from these kinds of threats are:

1. Use a pop-up blocker. Fake pop-ups telling you there are problems on your system may lead to spyware being installed without your knowledge. In addition, pop-ups are just annoying.

2. Be wary of websites. There are techniques that hackers use to compromise your system from the web. Keep your browser up to date.

3. Use a vpn when applicable. Proxies should not be used for online banking or other personal financial tasks. Online merchant accounts like PayPal and online banking usually have SSL encrypted sites to ensure your safety.

Spyware is usually hard to uninstall but there are tools available. SmitFraudFix, Spybot S D;, AdAware SE are some of the most reputable spyware removers of choice. You can also check online resources for help using the Google search engine or go to www.bleepingcomputer.com.

If you constantly encounter spyware programs evaluate your usage habits. These constant attacks should act as a sign. Either change your browsing habits or stop casually installing software. Most of all have fun and happy surfing!