A program that spies on your computer activity is one of the most dangerous forms of malware. It will not extort money from you, so as not to delete all of your files. Instead, it silently hides in your system, watching and recording all your computer activity.
Spyware can do everything from accessing your webcam to recording what you type on the keyboard. Criminals ultimately want to collect enough of your personal data to steal your identity and take possession of your accounts. To minimize the likelihood of such hacking, follow the guidelines and stay safe.
- Protect your system
First, you need to install reliable protection for your computer. Most anti-virus software for Windows and macOS will protect you from keyloggers, webcams spyware and other types of spyware, especially if you constantly update them.
What to choose? You will not find a universal security solution that is suitable for everyone. For most home computers, free software should provide an adequate level of protection, but buying an enhanced version of the program will increase your chances of staying safe.
- Avoid getting viruses
Even with a strong anti-virus program, you do not want spyware to do anything on your computer. To do this, you need to monitor all possible ways of penetrating malicious code on your computer.
Unfortunately, some spyware can penetrate your computer, not through your fault, if it is also used by your family members or friends. To do this, you should have separate user accounts for each person who works on the PC. Protect them with passwords to prevent surveillance.
Other programs can be disguised as random pop-ups or innocuous messages. They are often hidden in applications that look perfectly normal or come in the form of e-mail attachments in the file format that you are familiar with.
Be careful with the links you receive via social networks or e-mail, even if they come from people you trust. Attackers may have compromised their accounts or forged their identity.
- Remember the warning signs
Regardless of how much you protected your system, you should not stop there. In addition to the above-mentioned precautions, it is necessary to monitor the characteristics of the presence of spyware.
Sluggish operation of the system can be considered one of these signs. Of course, older computers slow down over time, but watch out for a sudden drop in performance. Also, monitor the activity of the hard drive and pauses in the software work, especially if they occur even when many programs do not work on your computer.
In general, you should treat strange and unexpected behavior with suspicion, for example, launching applications that you did not open directly. It does not really matter if you have programs that automatically start when you turn on the computer, but this can be a problem when you are in the middle of a session. It is especially suspicious if the windows appear for a short time, and then disappear again.