2 minute read
Spyware is usually software that accesses data from a computer, smartphone or tablet without the user's knowledge or even consent and passes it on to unauthorized third parties.
Spyware usually infects a computer in the wake of harmless software. Especially with free software or apps - which are actually supposed to make life easier - caution is advised. Confidential data, such as passwords, PINs and credit card numbers, end up in the possession of scammers and companies with dubious commercial methods.
Yet spyware can do even more, and that is what makes it truly dangerous: it can record keystrokes, track surfing habits, or collect email addresses and other login data. Even strong passwords can be decrypted with this knowledge.
Spyware programs are often also used to analyze user browsing activity, especially surfing behavior on the Internet.
The data collected is often used commercially. Based on the data, targeted advertising banners or pop-ups are displayed, which are adapted to the possible interests of the Internet user. In this way, advertising companies hope to increase sales on the Internet.
Trojans: Malware programs that are deliberately smuggled onto other people's computers or smartphones by cybercriminals and execute harmful functions there
Ad-ware: Software that displays advertising to the user in addition to its original function or installs software that displays advertising
Tracking cookies: Used by websites to run analytics services - often at the expense of the privacy of users, because they pass on personal data to third parties for advertising and marketing purposes
Keyloggers: Record what users type on the keyboard and store the data obtained and transmit keyboard combinations, for example passwords, to cybercriminals.