Adware and Spyware – CompTIA Security+ SY0-501 – 1.1

Adware and Spyware are some of the most common malware you’ll find. In this video, you’ll learn more about adware and spyware and how to protect against infections.

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One very lucrative way to make money on the internet is by displaying advertising. The bad guys know this, and they’ve come up with many interesting ways to have pop-ups and other advertisements appear on your screen.

One way this occurs is by installing adware on your computer. And once the adware begins executing, it can then begin popping up messages, showing you advertisements, and in some cases, slowing down the performance of your computer, especially if it’s on a network and is able to present a lot of different advertising simultaneously.

Sometimes, adware is installed along with another application. The adware creators will put their software inside something that is apparently normal to install and just like a Trojan horse software might be when you install the very innocuous software, the adware software is installed along with it.

One challenge with removing adware is knowing who to trust when it comes to the removal of adware. The adware authors know that if you receive adware, that you’re going to try to find a way to remove it and they’ll often present removal tools to you that are simply more adware methods to install onto your computer.

Another type of malicious software is spyware. As the name implies, spyware is watching what you’re doing. It may watch what websites you visit. It may embed its own affiliate codes into the sites that you visit. Or it may simply wait for you to input some personal information and steal that information to be able to use it in identity theft elsewhere.

Spyware is often software that tricks you into installing it, either as posing as fake security software or installing it along with other types of software, such as peer-to-peer software.

This is now going to be in your system. It’s going to watch the sites that you browse to. It’s going to capture the surfing habits of where you go on the internet. And it may even install its own set of key loggers to be able to capture information. To be able to spy on everything that you’re doing.

If you look at the different types of malware, you’ll find that adware and spyware is a very large percentage of the malware that’s out there and that’s because your eyeballs are worth money to the bad guys. And if they can embed this on to millions of systems, that’s just that much more that they’ll be able to make off of advertising.

Your time and the bandwidth on your computer is also valuable. They may be able to take advantage of your CPU and use it to mine for cryptocurrency or use it to watch for other things that you do on the internet. And if they’re able to watch you as you log into your bank account, then they will also be able to log in to your bank account where your money actually is and then, remove the money directly from your account by transferring it somewhere else.

Protecting against adware and spyware is similar to protecting yourself against other types of malware. Make sure that you have the latest signatures for your anti-virus and your anti-malware. Always be very particular of the applications that you’re installing. And you should have a very good trust when you begin to install any new application on your computer.

Also, make sure that you have a very good backup. Adware and spyware tends to embed itself very deeply in your operating system, which makes it very hard to remove. It might be easier to simply restore from a known good backup. And, of course, run some scans, not only with your anti-virus or anti-malware software, but you may want to use a specialized malware software– like Malwarebytes– to really look for very specific malware infestations.