Spyware invades a person’s privacy through unauthorized access to the person’s computer. Once spyware has infiltrated a victim’s computer, it may proceed to steal pertinent information such as names, passwords, bank details, credit card details and other sensitive information.
Spyware is inherently malicious. Since it is designed to evade the target computer’s security systems, it may cause damage to the computer as it tries to change its configuration to remain undetected.
Spyware is designed by organized cybercriminals mainly to spy on a victim’s activities and possibly steal information as well. It often works hand-in-hand with software that displays unsolicited advertisements. Not every type of data collection program is spyware, as long as it is installed with the user's knowledge and full consent. The user has to be aware that data is being collected from his computer. Spyware installs without the user's consent. A common trick used by cybercriminals is to bundle the spyware with some other software program that is offered for free.
Most spyware is designed to be difficult to remove once it sneaks onto a computer. A typical sign of spyware infection is the sudden slow down of the computer caused by the activities of the spyware program.