There’s no denying that technology, namely computers, can make life incredibly convenient. Computers allow people to do practically anything they want or need, making them essential tool’s in modern-day life.
However, you can never be too careful while using your device. The internet is full of cyber-attackers looking to take advantage of unsuspecting users. One of the most common ways that hackers do this is by infecting computers with spyware.
For those who aren’t familiar, spyware is a form of malicious software (malware) that is used to collect sensitive data or information by essentially “spying” on users. Some common examples of spyware include:
- Tracking cookies
- System monitoring
Established spyware is exceptionally difficult to remove due to its ability to spread amongst your software rapidly. Removing spyware can also result in permanent software damage, which may compromise your device’s speed and general performance.
If you’d like to prevent spyware from damaging your computer, you can rely on the antivirus solutions from Malwarebytes to proactively identify and block out threats. Downloading a high-quality antivirus program from a company like Malwarebytes will ensure that your device runs efficiently and has a long lifespan.
If you don’t currently have an antivirus program on your computer, you may want to keep an eye out for the following signs of spyware. Catching one of these signs early can save you from a huge hassle down the line.
Battery Life Drains Quicker Than Normal
Can your computer only go a few hours without needing to be plugged in? There are several reasons why this may be happening: one of the most serious being spyware.
Spyware runs in the background of your computer and takes power away from your device’s central processor. This gradually drains additional life from your battery, causing it to die quickly.
Regular Crashes and Malfunctions
Although it’s normal to experience the occasional glitch or crash, it shouldn’t be a regular occurrence. If your computer or a particular program is crashing multiple times per week (or even worse, per day), then you may have spyware on your computer.
Cyber-attackers can embed spyware code into your programs. This code is generally used to obtain data related to the program (keystrokes, usage, etc.). Once this code has infected a program, it tends to perform less efficiently. This can result in lagging or program crashes.
Webcam Has a Mind of Its Own
Most modern computers have webcams built into their monitors. Webcams allow people to play interactive games and video chat with one another.
Although webcams can be entertaining, they are easy targets for cyber-attackers. Hackers can embed spyware in a user’s webcam, giving them the ability to use it as they please. This provides the cyber-attacker with the opportunity to watch or record users. Not only is this a massive invasion of personal privacy, but it’s also illegal.
If you’ve noticed any lights on your monitor flicker on or off randomly, you should cover your webcam with tape or a sticky note. Although this won’t fix the issue, it will make it difficult for hackers to spy on you.
Spyware is a severe problem that needs to be dealt with swiftly and cautiously. If you have experienced any of the issues listed above, you should avoid using your computer until you’ve had it assessed by a cyber-security expert.