When people connect to the internet, they may have the security of being protected, however, this is far from the reality since there is spyware , a generic term that is used to name a malicious software that has the ability to infect a computer or mobile device very easily collecting a series of important user data.

What is a spyware?

Spyware is a type of software that is responsible for collecting all the information that is inside a computer and then taking it to an external entity without the owner having given any type of authorization for this process.

  • Definition of spyware
  • Characteristics
  • Source
  • Story
  • What is it for
  • How does it work
  • Types
  • What damage do they cause
  • Spyware on Android mobiles
  • Spyware on iPhone
  • Top sources of spyware
  • How to avoid spyware
  • How to detect it
  • How to remove spyware
  • Featured examples
  •  Recommended antispyware

Definition of spyware

Spyware is a type of software that has the ability to collect much or all of the information within a computer and then transmit it to an external entity without the owner having given any type of authorization to do so. The word can also be used to talk about other types of products that do not apply as spyware, but that perform a series of functions such as displaying unsolicited advertisements , to collect private user information and to redirect to pages .



Among the main characteristics of a spyware we find the following:

  • It has the ability to install itself on the affected system.
  • It runs every time the computer is turned on and keeps running continuously.
  • It uses RAM to function and thereby reduces stability .
  • It cannot be replicated to other different computers .
  • Its function is basically that of a parasite .
  • It is also known as spyware .


Its origin is in 1996 when an article that talked about the subject was created and published for the first time.


After the article was published for the first time, in 1999 a press release was also issued to the computer industry to publicize the term spyware. In 2000, an application was created for the first time that sought to address this type of problem. In 2004, the Cyber ​​Security Alliance together with America Online undertook a survey which showed that 80% of users who used the internet had problems related to spyware.

What is it for

Spyware is a malicious program that is used to send different types of information from an infected computer to a third party without the owner having knowledge of what is happening.

How does it work

After the user has been infected with spyware, it will start using different technologies of rootkit to achieve corrupt the whole performance standard operating systems so you can hide, which makes it quite difficult to find and remove.


Spyware can be divided into two types or categories, one of them is internal and is found in programs that have codes to collect data or it can also be external through totally independent programs that collect information. Among the types we find the following:

  • Keyloggers : in this case, the hacker is in charge of monitoring the computer in such a way that it can even register the keystrokes that the user is making on the keyboard.
  • Adware : this is the most common type of spywareand its way of acting is by displaying a large number of ads in the form of pop-up windows that have not been requested by the user. When he clicks on the ads, then without knowing, he enters all his data which is later taken to the hacker.
  • Browser hijacking : it has the function of hijacking the initial page of the browser and filling it with ads, which makes it very annoying for the user.

What damage do they cause

Spyware has the ability to steal personal information and then transmit it to a specific hacker . They can have access to the entire browsing history , the accounts of email and even the passwords for banking sites and shopping online . They can also easily access social networks by collecting information that allows them to create a false profile and steal identity.

In addition, in computers, they can consume large amounts of resources , which makes it slower , work with many errors and that the user has several problems whenever he is online, even suffering from constant crashes .

Spyware on Android mobiles

Spyware can easily disguise itself as rogue applications on Android devices . In this case, spyware has the possibility, once installed, of being able to access messages , the cell phone microphone and call logs , it can even track the location of the device. The best way to avoid contagion is by downloading applications only from the Play Store which has Play Protect , which has been designed to be able to scan and recognize malicious applications even within the store.

Spyware on iPhone

The iPhone maintains high levels of security, so the presence of spyware on this type of device is rare , however, when the user uses other sources to download, spyware can be easily installed. Some of the signs that indicate its presence in this type of device is the senseless use of data , overheating of the phone , background noise in conversations , the presence of an application known by the name of Cydia that suggests that the cell phone is no longer restricted.

Top sources of spyware

The main sources of spyware contagion include software packages that the user downloads to a computer that secretly contain the spyware. Due to the different security vulnerabilities that web browsers and some programs have, spyware can be installed very easily. Another means or sources is through e-mails and program downloads that are made from sites that are not legitimate.

How to avoid spyware

The main way to avoid spyware is to avoid making downloads of programs or applications that are not from secure sites , it is important to read the website to verify the accuracy and safety of the same. The license agreements of the programs should also be well analyzed although this is a bit overwhelming, avoid clicking the “I accept” button without having read the information first.

Taking special care with the advertisements that appear on the web is also very important, as well as avoiding all kinds of free programs that offer you many benefits, as these are considered a real red flag. Also, having a good antivirus and antispyware program can make a difference.

How to detect it

Spyware can be detected when some symptoms begin to appear on the computer, it becomes very slow and it works so wrong because the spyware is using all resources with counting system. The sudden appearance of many advertisements on the web and on the computer is an indicator of the presence of spyware and lastly, when users try to go to a certain page but are redirected to places that have not been requested.

How to remove spyware

Simplest form, primarily to avoid this kind of infection is increasing all precautions regarding the safety when applications or web programs are downloaded, as well as files that are received in emails . If you begin to observe some of the symptoms , it is necessary to locate the place where it is housed in order to later destroy it .

It is important to always activate the controls to block the popup windows , never just click on pop -up windows that suddenly appear on the web and say “close” or “no, thanks” , in this case it is best to go straight to the ” x ” to be able to close the window.

Featured examples

Some examples of spyware are:

  • CoolWebSearch: this program worked by taking advantage of Internet Explorer security vulnerabilities, thus managing to hijack computers.
  • Gator – Hosted by file-sharing software.
  • Internet Optimizer : it was very popular when the Internet connection was made by telephone and replaced the pages with advertisements.
  • TIBS Dialer : it hijacked the modems by disconnecting the computer from the telephone line and the local network to connect it later to a number that gave access to pornography pages.
  • Zlob : used the vulnerability of ActiveX codecs to be able to download itself on the computer and to be able to record all browsing and search histories.

 Recommended antispyware

Currently there are a series of antispyware that are recommended to eliminate and prevent the installation of this type of problem. Some of the most recognized are the following:

  • Norton 360 Standard
  • McAfee Total Protection
  • TotalAV
  • SuperAntiSpyware
  • Bitdefender Total Security
  • Malwarebytes
  • Avira Antivirus Pro
  • Adware Antivirus Total
  • SuperAntiSpyware

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