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Most dangerous types of spyware: How to choose the best anti-spyware

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Any type of spyware on your computer can be deadly, but there are some types that can really cause you to have a bad day. When phishing attacks and Trojan horses enter the mix, the threat of viruses rises from mischief to criminal acts that can destroy the most crucial parts of your system and see your information disappear into the wrong hands. Having anti-spyware software is imperative to running a clean system.

Spyware is software designed to harvest your data and forward it to a third party without your consent or knowledge. Those third parties will do what they will with your data. Some will store it to resell, some will use it immediately and illegally for their own gain. Spyware removal can be difficult to do manually, and a professional application should be employed. Among the items that are stolen by spyware are:

  • Passwords
  • Credit Card Numbers
  • PIN numbers

Know what types of spyware there are can go a long way towards rooting them out of your system or preventing them altogether. Three main types of spyware are:

  • Adware
  • Pornware
  • Riskware

What is Adware?

Adware is so called because its programs are specifically designed to display digital advertisements on your computer. It goes deeper than that, however. Adware also redirects your search engine request to its own advertising websites and gobbles up lots of marketing-type data about you, such as the types of websites that you visit.

A more deadly form of adware are the Trojan spyware programs that take your information without permission, including your personal financial information and saved passwords. Adware usually infects your computer via freeware or infected websites.

What is Pornware?

You can probably guess, but pornware is a collection of programs that distribute or display pornographic material on a device. The programs also can deliberately install search engines that look for and display pornographic materials. Advertising pornographic websites without a filter are the main goal of this type of spyware.

There are porn dialers, who dial adult content services from your phone; porn downloads which will download pornographic materials to a computer; and a porn tool, which searches for and displays results on pornographic information.

What is Riskware?

Riskware is the most deadly of the three forms because it causes actual damage by exploiting faults in your computer system. Riskware seeks to delete, block, modify, or copy data, or disrupt the performance of computers on networks.

Often riskware comes attached to legitimate third-party programs like file downloaders and remote-access programs that can set up shop on your computer for the purpose of repairing or adding something to it. Other dangerous components that can house riskware are FT{ servers and proxy services.

Fighting Spyware

Fortunately, there are lots of ways to battle Spyware in any form. Websites with objective reviews on a wide range of products can take spyware from being a major threat to your system to getting disposed of out the back door.

The best way to fight spyware is to be vigilant in what you see on your own computer. Suspicious activity like new browsers and digital advertising that emerges even when you aren’t online are big flashing warning signs that you might have been affected by spyware.

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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