Spyware software is in the category of malware and is a program that is secretly installed on a computer to gather information about the activities performed.
How Spyware Works?
The most common function of these programs is to collect information about the user and distribute it to advertising companies or other related organizations, but they are also used in government agencies to gather information against criminal suspects such as software piracy.
They can also be used to send users to Internet sites with other people’s corporate images to obtain important information.
Since spyware normally uses an Internet connection to transmit information, it uses bandwidth that can affect the data transfer speed between this computer and another networked computer.
How Does Spyware Infect your Computer?
Information usually collected by the spyware virus includes messages, contacts, and passwords of Internet connection-related e-mail data such as IP address, DNS, phone and web addresses visited by the country, and the length of time the user stays on that web.
The user should know that when visiting websites that contain information such as credit card numbers and bank accounts, data, including passwords, this information may be collected by malicious software.
Spyware can be installed on a computer using a virus such as the Magic Lantern program developed by the FBI, a Trojan horse distributed by e-mail, or it can be installed secretly on a computer during a normal setup of a program.
Some programs downloaded from untrusted sites may have installers with spyware and other malware.
Cookies, where you store information about the Internet user on your own computer, are filed and are often used to assign an individual identification number to a website to identify visitors later.
However, since a website can use a cookie identifier to create a user’s profile and the user does not know the information added to the profile. In this case, spyware software, which transmits cookie information without the user’s consent, may be transmitted to the other party.
As an example of this situation, in a search engine like Google, an ID number can be assigned for a page that was first visited, and all search terms can be stored in a database with their ID numbers as the key for their next visit.
This data can be used to select ads to be shown to the user or can be transmitted to other sites or organizations. Some examples of known spyware are Gator or Bonzi Buddy.
Windows Genuine Advantage
Although this tool comes from Microsoft, some original and non-original users define it as Spyware; because what this tool does is to verify the legitimacy of the Windows license or Office suite.
If the product key is not genuine, Windows displays warning windows asking the user to purchase a license from Microsoft.
Although this update is not secure, it is usually received through the automatic update service.
Once installed, WGA connects to Microsoft every time the computer connects to the Internet. This behavior has been criticized by some users called spyware and others who have been informed that their licenses are not legitimate although they have the original license.
Obviously, this utility is not mandatory because the user can change the settings of the auto-update service to be notified before download or installation.
When a spyware malware infects your computer, you may see a change in the homepage of the web browsers you use. This spy software, which is installed on your computer with software that you downloaded from a source and that works on your browsers, directs you to an unwanted website.
Windows that open as Popup on a page you view in your web browser also show a symptom. In addition, it can be seen as search engine plugins that are not removed, almost sticking to your system.
If the folder where your operating system is installed has a folder that you did not create and the folder name is a name you have never heard of, this probably means that spyware is installed.
You may also notice a symptom of changes to your system’s registry, for example, changes made to startup programs when you turn on your computer, and services that run in the background.
Pirates targeting browsers like Internet Explorer, Edge, Google Chrome, and Firefox are the most preferred browsers to spread spyware.
Any of these browsers can allow new features to be installed, such as direct search fields, animations, FTP clients, and many other features.
While these features are useful, most of them contain spyware software that spies on normal Internet pages.