Spyware – software designed to be installed secretly onto a personal computer to capture and reveal personal information to third parties without informed consent, infiltrate and damage a computer system. Thus, malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and also spyware, programming that gathers information about the computer user without permission.
What should I do to defend against spyware?
Install and update your firewall. Windows provides built-in firewalls.
Install and update your antivirus software, such as McAfee or Symantec.
Download and install antispyware protection (e.g., Ad-Aware, Spybot).
Read all security warnings, license agreement and privacy statements associated with any software you download.
Be aware of free downloadable software (e.g., movies, apps, music, video clips, etc.), because spyware may be included.
Don’t open emails with links that offer anti-spyware software. These may actually be used to install spyware on your computer.
Never click “agree” or “OK” to close a window. Instead, click the red “X” in the corner of the window or press the Alt + F4 button on your keyboard to close a window.