What is spyware and what does it do quizlet?

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Have you ever noticed strange pop-ups on your computer or experienced slow performance? Or worse, have you had personal information stolen from your device without even realizing it? If so, then you may have fallen victim to spyware. In today’s digital age where our lives are increasingly spent online, protecting ourselves from cyber threats is more important than ever. So let’s dive into the world of spyware and learn how this sneaky software can invade our computers and compromise our privacy.

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a type of malicious software that can infiltrate your computer without your knowledge or consent. It is designed to gather data from your device and transmit it back to the attacker, who can then use the information for nefarious purposes such as identity theft or financial fraud.

Unlike viruses, spyware does not replicate itself or spread to other computers. Instead, it silently monitors your online activity and collects sensitive information such as login credentials, browsing history, and personal details like your name and address.

Spyware often comes bundled with free downloads or disguised as legitimate software updates. Once installed on your computer, it runs in the background undetected by most antivirus programs. This makes detecting and removing spyware a difficult task for even tech-savvy individuals.

Spyware is a serious threat that should be taken seriously by anyone who uses their device for personal or work-related tasks.

How Spyware Works

Spyware is a type of malicious software that can infect your computer without your knowledge or consent. Once installed, it can gather information about your online activities and transmit this data to third parties such as advertisers or hackers.

Spyware works by hiding itself within legitimate software downloads, email attachments, or even social media links. It can also be disguised as browser toolbars or search bars that claim to enhance your browsing experience.

Once on your system, spyware will start logging keystrokes, monitoring web browsing activity, recording chat conversations and other sensitive information. All of this data is then sent back to the attacker’s server where they can analyze and use it for their own purposes.

One key feature of spyware is its ability to remain hidden from anti-virus programs and firewalls because it often disguises itself as part of another legitimate program already installed on the computer.

To prevent spyware from infiltrating your systems, it’s important to keep all software up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates available. Additionally installing reputable antivirus and antimalware software will help detect any suspicious activity in real-time keeping you protected at all times.

Types of Spyware

There are various types of spyware that can infect your computer or mobile device. Here are some examples:

1. Adware – This type of spyware displays unwanted pop-up ads on your screen and may redirect you to websites without your consent.

2. Trojans – A Trojan is a malicious program that disguises itself as legitimate software but actually opens a backdoor for hackers to access your sensitive data.

3. Keyloggers – Keylogger spyware records every keystroke you make, including passwords and credit card details, which cybercriminals use for identity theft.

4. Tracking Cookies – These types of cookies track your online activities and collect information about the websites you visit, search terms you use, and even personal details like name and email address.

5. System Monitors – This type of spyware monitors everything happening on your computer, including emails sent or received, files uploaded or downloaded, chats conversations etc..

It’s important to note that these are just a few examples among many different types of spyware out there today. To protect yourself from such threats always keep an up-to-date antivirus program installed on all devices and avoid downloading suspicious software from untrusted sources online.

How to Protect Yourself from Spyware

To protect yourself from spyware, you need to be proactive and take certain measures. Firstly, make sure that your operating system and all software are up-to-date with the latest patches and security updates. This will help prevent any vulnerabilities that could be exploited by spyware.

Secondly, avoid downloading or installing unfamiliar software or clicking on suspicious links in emails or websites. Always double-check the source of any downloads before proceeding.

Thirdly, use reputable antivirus and anti-spyware software to scan your computer regularly for potential threats. Make sure these programs are updated frequently to keep them effective against new threats.

Fourthly, adjust your browser settings to block pop-ups and disable cookies from third-party sites unless necessary for a specific website’s functionality.

Always practice safe browsing habits by being cautious about what information you share online and avoiding insecure Wi-Fi networks in public places. By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to spyware attacks.


Spyware is a dangerous type of software that can cause serious harm to your computer and compromise your privacy. It can be installed on your device without your knowledge or consent and can gather sensitive information about you that could be used for malicious purposes.

To protect yourself from spyware, it’s important to take preventative measures such as installing anti-spyware software and keeping all of your programs up-to-date. You should also avoid clicking on suspicious links or downloading untrustworthy files.

By staying vigilant and taking these steps, you’ll greatly reduce the risk of falling victim to spyware attacks. Remember: prevention is key when it comes to protecting yourself against online threats like spyware.

Melina Richardson
Melina Richardson is a Cyber Security Enthusiast, Security Blogger, Technical Editor, Certified Ethical Hacker, Author at Cybers Guards. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.