Malware is any software that tries to infect a digital device. Hackers can use it to extract personal information, steal money, or lock you out of your device. You can protect yourself using anti-malware software.

Ransomware is as scary as it sounds. Hackers use this technique to lock you out of your devices and demand a ransom in return for access. Ransomware puts you in a sticky situation, so it's best to know how to avoid it.

Spywareis a type of malware that hackers use to see your personal information, banking details, or more. The Dangers of Spyware. Spyware is software that is downloaded onto your computer to track your activities without your knowledge. ... Most of the time spyware is used to monitor your internet surfing habits, and this information is used in conjunction with adware to target specific advertisements to your tastes. However, spyware can be used to monitor much more than just surfing habits. Depending on the purposes of its creator, spyware can monitor and gather information about:

Because spyware can gather so much information about you and send it to another source without you knowing what's happening, spyware is a huge privacy and security threat. In the wrong hands, spyware can be used to take someone's personal information for the purposes of identity theft or fraud. Information about you gathered by spyware can even be sold by the spyware creator to third parties. The most concerning part about this is that you have no control over what the spyware monitors or where the information goes. Because of this, many people choose to remove spyware from their computers and take actions to prevent spyware from getting onto their computers in the future.

How Does Spyware Get Onto My Computer?

Spyware typically finds its way onto your computer when you download other programs, mainly freeware (free software, often for trial purposes). This is called bundling - basically the spyware producers pay the freeware producers to include the spyware in their products. This helps finance the freeware that you download so that you don't have to pay for it.

When you download your freeware, the spyware application that you're also downloading may be mentioned in the licensing agreement. The spyware company is counting on you to click "Ok" without really reading the agreement, but if you do, the spyware installation will be mentioned in very hard to understand jargon so you may not realize that spyware is being added. Sometimes the spyware is not even mentioned in the agreement, in which case even if you read it, you will not be aware of the spyware.

Spyware can also be installed on your computer just by visiting certain sites. You may be prompted to download a certain application to see the site properly, to view a greeting card, to watch a video or hear a song on the site, etc. But really the application could have nothing to do with what the site says its purpose is - it could be spyware instead.

Adware is a type of malware that bombards you with endless ads and pop-up windows that could potentially be dangerous for your device. The best way to remove adware is to use an adware removal tool.

can hide in unexpected places, such as emails, downloads and more. It's always better to be careful to avoid this type of malware. You can protect yourself against Trojan viruses by using anti-trojan software.

Rootkits gain access to your computer without you knowing it. Unfortunately, this is possible with a rootkit. You can protect yourself against rootkits by using anti-rootkit software.

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