What Is Spyware? How To Detect, Prevent And Remove?
Spyware or spyware is a term for a type of malware or computer virus that secretly collects data from your computer for malicious use .
A spyware can save passwords on your computer, take screenshots of your screen, and steal your credit card and other payment information for financial fraud.
However, spyware isn’t limited to desktops and laptops either. It can infect both Mac and Windows computers, as well as website servers and hosting systems. A poorly designed website security can lead to hacking, viruses, site offline and poor customer experiences, even with high-quality hosting.
At worst, an infected website or computer can leak user data. While this is a scary and serious problem, with a little ingenuity and the right tools, you can keep cybercriminals at bay.
Spyware can infect through clicking a bad link in an email , incorrect file permissions on your website server, or an outdated application or program. Because there are so many potential sources of spyware, it’s important to choose a good spyware detection and removal tool as well as understand how to avoid it.
The Best Defense Is A Good Offense: Spyware Prevention
If you want to build a computer or site but are not taking precautions to protect yourself, you may have vulnerabilities that hackers can use to gain access to your data.
Start by installing a basic anti-virus and malware scan from any major provider.
Norton, McAfee, and Malwarebytes are reputable anti-virus programs for smartphones and computers. Don’t underestimate Windows Defender, which comes pre-installed on new Windows computers. It is a great spyware checking tool that can keep your computer safe.
You will also need security software for your website. A tool like GoDaddy Website Security can close common security vulnerabilities and constantly scan your website for any malicious activity. If your website is WordPress-based, you can also consider using popular plugins like WordFence , Sucuri or iThemes Security to further increase the security of your site .
The last precaution you can take about what spyware is and how to prevent it is to regularly back up your site in case you get hacked. By using online or physical backup tools for your computer and GoDaddy Website Backup for your website, you can easily restore your website in case your files are corrupted or lost.
Beware Of Suspicious Emails
One of the most common ways to infect your computer with spyware is to click on a link in a suspicious email. Be careful what emails you open and what you click on, and don’t click any links unless you’re familiar with the sender.
Keep Software Up To Date
Another spyware prevention method is to keep the applications and software on your web server and computer up to date. Software developers regularly discover and fix potential vulnerabilities, and updates include these fixed codes to keep cybercriminals at bay.
When an update becomes public, the problem with the previous version becomes public knowledge, making a computer or website running the older version a perfect target for a security breach.
For example, if your website is WordPress- based, you can turn on automatic updates for all plugins, parent themes, and core WordPress from the dashboard. Run Windows and Apple updates as well as program and application updates for your computer. Do the same for your smartphone. It’s a kind of computer after all!
What Is Spyware: How To Detect And Remove Spyware
If you get hacked, you will need a powerful spyware detection and removal tool that can get you back up and running as soon as possible. Other than restoring your site from a backup, your only option is to clean your website of viruses.
Earlier we talked about GoDaddy Website Security for spyware detection. But if you’re late for the “prevention” phase, GoDaddy Express Malware Removal can detect and remove all bad scripts, documents, and code from your website.
The hardest part of cleaning up a hacked website is making sure all the bad files are removed. Even a single leftover malicious file can cause a hacker to take over your website again.
Even if you manage to clean everything up, if you can’t identify where and how the attack happened, the same problems may reoccur until you fix the root cause of your security problems.
As a busy business owner, you may not have the expertise and time to understand the structures of your web files, databases of websites, and other intricacies. In most cases, the best decision you can make to ensure that the infection does not recur and to avoid further stress and job loss is to seek the assistance of an outside expert in the field.
Stay Up To Date To Stay Safe From Digital Dangers
Keeping software up-to-date, backing up computers and websites, and using good quality spyware checking and removal software are important parts of digital security. As long as you use common sense and follow these practices, you can avoid the evil lurking on the internet.
While you’re at it, you can also use this as an opportunity to do a general online security check.
Make sure everyone on your team uses strong and unique passwords , and use two-factor authentication where appropriate to add an additional layer of defense between your digital assets and data thieves.
As long as you follow recommended security practices, you can avoid the worst cybersecurity threats and ensure you have a plan to act immediately if something goes wrong. With the right preparation and tools, you can continue to take care of your business, confident that your online security needs are being met.
The Best Antivirus Software (5 Apps For Your Computer)
If you want the best antivirus software for your PC, you’ve got a lot of options to choose from. Which one is best? Well, that depends on what exactly you need to protect your PC from… and what you expect to get out of it. Antivirus software is designed to detect computer infections such as viruses, spyware, malware and other malicious programs. When you need to make sure that your computer is running smoothly and reliably, and that your data and system are secure, you should download the best antivirus possible for your PC.
BitDefender – The best antivirus software that you’re looking for if it is free (and that you can afford), have a few top recommendations for you (including a few top industry packages), as well. If you need real-time protection, BitDefender is a solid option with real-time protection available for a fee. In this respect, BitDefender and its competitors all offer similar protection. You’ll find exceptional customer support and online capabilities to assist in the detection and removal of malicious programs.
Kaspersky Lab – Perhaps the leading antivirus program for the US government is Kaspersky Lab. Many government agencies rely on antivirus programs to protect their computer systems. This is not an area to skimp out on though, and if you use Kaspersky, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your PC is protected from malware infections, along with any other threats your system may encounter. Kaspersky has exceptional customer service and a solid reputation in the business, and while pricing is a little on the pricey side, it comes with a strong security program and excellent customer support.
Norton/Symantec – Two of the top antivirus programs on the market at the moment are Norton and Symantec. These have a solid reputation and have features that work well together. One of the best things about these programs is that they have a solid backing by the US government. While price is a little on the pricey side, you can feel secure in the knowledge that your computer is well protected from malware infections.
Norton is renowned for its antivirus software that detects malware and other threats on your PC. It is easy to use and has an extensive program database. What sets it apart from some of its competitors is its malware detection capabilities. You can activate specific filters to search for certain types of malware. You also have the option to run scans as often as you like to ensure new threats don’t pop up. You can set alerts to send you emails or notifications when your system becomes vulnerable to new malware threats.
Avira – Considered by many to be the best virus protection program available right now, Avira is also rated as one of the most reliable utilities out there. You can scan with it on a daily basis to ensure your PC is running smoothly and is free from threat. It has an intuitive interface and includes various customizable components to make it easy to use. Avira is also very affordable which makes it an excellent choice for people who need to scan a few files on a occasional basis.
Kaspersky – Considered the most efficient antivirus software available today, Kaspersky ranks high on several popularity lists. This great piece of software protects computers running Windows, Mac OS X and Linux from viruses, malware, spyware, and Trojans. With a wide range of functions, Kaspersky is a great tool for protecting multiple computers. It’s compatible with the majority of computers due to its cross-platform nature, and works perfectly fine even on home computers and laptops.
No matter what kind of antivirus software you are looking for, these five programs should be enough to keep your computer protected. If your computer is already old, you can opt to upgrade to a newer version. Newer versions have more advanced features that provide excellent protection. It’s also recommended that you practice good computer maintenance by running a disk defragmenter once a week to improve the performance of your system.