Add to cart: Why anti-spyware should be next on your shopping list

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Our digital selves are a large part of our identity. The files we share, the websites we visit, and our interactions on social media, all make up our digital personas. Spyware has been prevalent for some time now, but with the surge in online shopping during the pandemic, many are waking up to the need to protect our digital identity.

Bank account and credit card information can be stolen and sold to third parties with the help of spyware. With personal data protection becoming a growing concern in India, your immediate priority should be to introduce powerful anti-spyware to protect your personal information.

In this article, we explore what spyware is all about and why anti-spyware should be the first thing on your shopping list.

Where Does Spyware Come From?

Spyware typically infiltrates your computer as a result of an action that you take, such as clicking a button on a pop-up display, downloading an adware-containing software program, or accepting an add-on to your web browser. Generally, spyware often use deception and trickery to get you to install them. Spyware is dangerous because it does not require expressed consent and gathers information without your knowledge. 

You have no control over the information it collects. Let’s take a look at a few common ways in which spyware can end up on your computer.

Accidental drive-by download

A drive-by download is the unintended downloading of a software application. These downloads are notorious because they lead to spyware installation through seemingly legitimate websites or pop-up dialogues. Often, they are disguised so well that you remain unaware of its existence.

Software installation through piggybacking

Applications such as peer-to-peer file-sharing software may include spyware and make it a part of their installation procedure. It is passed off as a functionality that is listed in the installation list, and you could miss it if you do not check the list of features closely. This is especially true for "free" versions of software that are promoted as alternatives of the flagship software.

Browser add-ons

These are software add-ons that can be added to your web browser, such as an alternative search toolbar. While not always malicious, they carry the risk of having hidden spyware elements.

What Does Spyware Do to Your Computer System?

After finding its way into your computer in the form of an application, it keeps running in the background whenever you start your computer, thus hogging processor power and RAM. It can generate endless pop-up ads that make your web browser so slow it becomes unusable.

It can also reconfigure your browser's settings to show ads on your homepage whenever you open it. Some spyware aim to redirect you to certain pages by controlling the search results you see. It can adjust the Dynamically Linked Libraries (DLLs) of your system to link it to the internet without your permission, which can cause failures in connectivity that are tough to identify.

At their absolute worst, spyware can capture or record what you type, such as credit card information, usernames and passwords — the exact kind of information you would key in when online shopping.

You might wonder what the information collected by spyware is ultimately used for, and it is not often clear. One way that your personal data can be profited off is through affiliate credits. As e-commerce giants and other sites pay incentives to websites that divert traffic to their product pages, spyware can manipulate search results and then claim credit for redirecting you there.

What makes spyware particularly dangerous is its resilience. Some are so sophisticated that they know when you are trying to get rid of them and will try to block such attempts. As a result, the best way to deal with spyware is to rely on the best antivirus software.

How Anti-Spyware Is Your Best Defence When Shopping Online

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, an increasing number of online shoppers in India are falling for scams. With cases of online shopping scams increasing by more than twice every year since 2016, India has seen a 500% jump in online shopping fraud in just three years. As e-commerce grows, the need for antivirus software is greater than ever before.

The top anti-spyware programs avoid, track, and effectively delete unwanted spyware. To keep your computer secure, it conducts regular checks and ensures that your privacy is secure from potential intrusions round-the-clock. Spyware can change the settings of your firewall, thus weakening it to make it vulnerable to other unwanted software.

Hence,  combating spyware effectively involves using an antivirus software that can protect you from a multitude of risks. ESET antivirus software has real-time scanning capabilities that can help you identify different threats, such as adware, Trojans, and malware, in addition to spyware. With advanced protection, you can shop online with confidence.

Click the button below to try our award-winning antivirus software for free - no strings attached.