Someone is eyeing your PC

Posted by umar ananda riyadi

Espionage has got a new phizog. Cannier than Mata Hari and Belle Boyd, the stage is now set for the latter-day firebrands. Here, it is not anyway correlated to the cosmos as these moles are more akin to the virtual cyber world. In apposite terms, we classify them as “Spyware” or the cyber sleuths, bespoken to siphon out the dearest of your data.

The genealogy of spyware
An incongruity on what can be classified as spyware and what not has rendered a similar ambiguity on what it means to protect against them. A stroll through technical jargons and you are met with a caboodle of convoluted definitions. Data gathering programs that are installed with the user having the prior knowledge of it, doesn’t qualifies as a spyware, if the user fully understands what data is being collected and with whom it is being shared. Then, what all it takes to be a spyware?
  • Adware
With advertisements built into software, adware can serve as effective spying tool. Once this con finds out that you are sitting online, it channelizes a surge of popups and popunder ads towards the PC. More to this,  it tracks and stores the information of your viewing habits which is further sold on to marketing companies, which draw on this information to  inundate your inbox with junk emails.
  • Cookies
Sweet name but not as sugary as it’s monikered! Cookies can also serve as effectual spyware tool as they are employed by the advertisers to track sales and clicks to better understand how best to spend their marketing budget.
  • Hostile Scripts and Dialers
These scripts and programmes are tailored to get hold of the local computer files for drawing together information about the user. Alternatively, they can force a modem to dial expensive toll calls or can capture every keystroke you make, creating jeopardy for your confidential information ranging from passwords to credit-card numbers.
  • Browser Redirector/Hijacker
More than just creating nuisance, these hijackers can play havoc with your homepage and search engine settings. Every time you are on the web browser you land up onto the page stifled with porn and ads. Incidentally, most browser hijackers are also data miners which can redirect your web browsing habits to a central database where it can be exploited by companies for minting extra dollars.
  • Keyloggers
Keylogger is a potent tool to scoop out the credit card details and other money related information from your PC covertly by keeping a record of your keystrokes. Email attachments and file download are among their preferred havens.
  • Trojans, Backdoors and Downloaders
And finally, not to forget the evil trinity of Trojans, backdoors and downloaders that form a safe conduit for flushing information valuables from your PC, clandestinely.
So, watch out before your privacy would become a far-flung trance forever!!!

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