Eastern Michigan University
Spyware is a type of malicious software that collects information on a user without their knowledge, typically sending it to a third party, or directing ads to the user's computer without permission.
Unlike viruses and worms, spyware is not self-replicating, and thus does not spread from one infected machine to another. It does, however, allow the author of the spyware to exploit the infected machine in a number of ways:
- Directing pop-up ads to the user
- Redirecting the browser to advertising or malware-infected sites
- Stealing usernames and passwords from legitimate websites
- Stealing credit card and other financial details
You can minimize spyware infections in two ways:
First, know what you are installing. If a pop-up window requests permission to install software and you did not request to install, cancel the operation.
Second, install an antispyware solution; there are several inexpensive and even free options available from trusted companies.
Division of Information Technology
118 Pray Harrold
Ypsilanti, MI 48197