Spyware by definition is malicious code that is designed to intercept or take over a user’s computer. This is all done without permission of the user. Spyware may install itself on your machine with you even without knowing it. Why? Because many times it is embedded in things you click on in e-mails or the internet and you may not even be aware that it is spyware. After spyware installs itself on a computer, it reviews what you do and where you surf. Then it gathers various information from your computer and sends it to the perpetrator. Some spyware just pops up banners on your computer, others attempt to gather passwords and other personal financial information and send it to a criminal. Spyware is a costly problem to consumers and companies. Sometimes the only solution is to completely reinstall the operating system. But here are steps you can take to help avoid spyware intrusion.
PREVENTION AND MONITORING
Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) provide free tools for malware and spyware including Comcast and Verizon. Other third-party software may help protect your computer from spyware or assist in the removal of it (some are free). The following is a list* to get you started:
- AVG Antivirus
- Trend Micro’s Anti-Spyware
- Webroot Spy Sweeper
- Windows Defender Antivirus
*Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union does not endorse these products. This is for informational purposes only. Information provided as of 10/1/20.