It seems like almost every celebrity is getting their phone hacked or having their videos stolen, but is it really that easy? What is Spyware? Should you be worried about your devices? Spyware is a program that records a user’s interaction with a device and internet without the infected user’s knowledge. Spyware can be a stealthy file that hides its process and files in other objects on the device to avoid detection. Spyware can propagate through downloads, piggybacking on software installations, masquerading as anti-spyware, vulnerable web browsers, browser add-ons, and cookies.
Spyware can cut the performance of the system, place desktop shortcuts to malicious sites, steal personal information, track user activities, display annoying pop-ups or redirect users to other sites, add more bookmarks to a favorites list, and decrease overall security level of the infected device.
Though Spyware has a bad name, it can also be used for good reason. Many investigators, law enforcement, employers, and even parents have the capability of using Spyware as tools to aid in data retrieval for investigative purpose.
Spyware has different characteristics and could be placed within any of the categories listed below. Included below are also a few links to some spyware. Though links are provided to some spyware it is by no means an effort to encourage the utilization of spyware. The goal is to show how easy it is to use these types of Spyware and to encourage awareness.
- Cellphone and Telephone Spyware– Telephone and Cellphone Spyware monitors and records phone calls, text message. This type of spyware is also capable of tracking and sending data to the user on the infected users’ device.
- GPS Spyware – This type of Spyware can track your place.
- Audio Spyware- Audio Spyware monitors and records sound on a device. It is also capable of recording voice chats, messages, and voicemail.
- Robonanny, Stealth Recorder Pro, or Spy Voice Recorder
- USB Spyware – USB Spyware copies files from USB devices to the device hard drive.
- Screen Capture Spyware – This type of spyware can take screenshots of a device and is capable of recording keystrokes, mouse, and printer activity.
- Desktop Spyware– This type of spyware provides information about what network the user is on and the other devices that are connected. This type of spyware can create live recordings of the users’ desktop, log users’ keystrokes, record, and store activities as well as software usage.
- Email and Internet Spyware– This type of Spyware can watch, record, and send incoming and outgoing email.
- Child Monitoring Spyware – This type of Spyware controls and supervise how children use the PC and the Internet. The Spyware can block children from accessing different sites and block certain keywords. It is also capable of taking screenshots and keystrokes.
- Video Spyware – Video Spyware can secretly watch and record webcams and video messages. Hackers can remotely view webcams or the camera from your mobile phone.
- Print Spyware – Print Spyware monitors printer usage and can intercept and retrieve data on the printer.