The main drawback of spyware is that it collects personal data without the user’s knowledge. This can include information like browser history, passwords or credit card information that could be used for unauthorized shopping or withdrawals of money. It also tracks internet activity and records the computer’s Internet and local network settings to control how the computer is used.
This can be achieved through a variety ways and includes installing additional software on the device or altering the dynamically linked library which is the method by which applications are connected to Internet. Spyware also has the capability of causing other problems. These can range from pop-up advertisements to connectivity issues that are difficult to identify. It could even modify the security settings of a PC to invite in more malware.
Spyware may consume system resources such as memory, CPU power, and disk space. This could result in slow and unresponsive applications and even system crash. It is also possible to steal private information and redirect searches to unwanted websites.
Users can tool for storing and sharing files reduce the threat of spyware by being educated about its dangers. They should avoid downloading programs from suspicious websites, read all the specifics of a contract prior to signing any software download, and never click on links in pop-up window, as they could install spyware. It is also recommended to use strong passwords on all accounts, and not reuse passwords across different applications. They should also periodically scan their computers for spyware and update their security.