If you’re annoyed by Instagram stalkers, imagine when someone takes stalking to another level. They can see your usernames and passwords, what you chat with others, the emails you send, and every little step you take online.
This can be done with spyware. A cunning little piece of code that hides in your computer and tracks all your movements. From your bank account passwords to your credit card details – it can record everything and send it to cyber criminals.
Symptoms of a Spyware Infection
While spyware is sneaky, it does leave some traces. Here are some common symptoms:
- There are too many popups on your computer
- Your computer has become sluggish
- There is a new browser toolbar that you didn’t install
- Your browser has a new homepage but you didn’t set it
If you’re suspicious that you’ve got spyware, you can install a good antivirus and antispyware software to get rid of it. And if you haven’t got it already, here’s how you can keep your device safe from spyware.
How to Avoid Spyware
Keep Your Software Updated
From your operating system to the antivirus and antispyware on your system, keep all your software updated. With updated tools, the software is able to detect and delete advanced malware. It’s best to have several tools to keep your device protected. For example, you should use antivirus, antispyware, and a firewall to stay safe.
Don’t Click on Popups
If a website throws a popup at you, don’t click on “I agree” without reading it carefully. To close the window, click on the X mark on its corner. Or you can use Alt+F4 to close it. Clicking on “I agree” or “OK” might install an unwanted program on your computer.
Use a Secure Browser
Mozilla Firefox is more secure than Chrome or Opera. With a more secure browser, there are fewer chances of downloading spyware or malware on your computer. If you use some other browser, such as Chrome, you can harden the security settings. Here are the steps to tighten the security for your Google Chrome browser.
Don’t click on suspicious links in emails
If you’re not 100% sure of the identity of the sender, don’t click on any link given in the email. Also, don’t download any files attached to such emails. Hackers might try to use a phishing attempt to install spyware on your computer.
Be careful of free software
There are several websites that offer free software. Pirated software from untrusted sources can contain spyware or ransomware. Always get genuine software from the official vendor.
These steps will generally be enough to keep you safe from spyware.