With so many types of malicious software being spread around the Internet, it is important to be aware of what spyware is and what spyware does. Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first, such as:
- Collecting personal information
- Changing the configuration of your computer
Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.
Spyware usually ends up on your machine because you have clicked a button in a pop-up window (that includes the No or Close buttons), downloaded or installed something from the internet or agreed to add functionality to your web browser. Be suspicious, use the X button or ALT + F4 on your keyboard to close pop-up windows.
Don’t install anything you don’t recognize and understand from the internet.