Antispyware programs are applications that are designed to search and remove malware from media connected to a computer. They do this using advanced scanners. Spyware, on the other hand, is malicious software, installed (without the user knowledge) on a computer to collect information about the user and sending it to other people.
The way antispyware programs work resembles the functionality of antivirus programs. Antispyware software also needs to constantly update the database of the unwanted and dangerous definitions to find the latest spyware, adware, keyloggers, Trojans and more. Components that can be detected and removed by antispyware programs can also send out unwanted e-mail or display advertisements.
According to research conducted in 2005 by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance, 61% of the surveyed users had spyware on their computers, and 92% of them did not know about their existence and did not express any prior consent for its installation. As of today, spyware is one of the biggest threats to computer security in the world.
Here are a few noteworthy antispyware programs:
- Spybot Search & Destroy – a free program that scans both hard disk and RAM memory. It can also detect Trojans and keyloggers.
- SpywareBlaster – a program that offers protection against malware, which differs from others. It does not scan existing files, but instead, it blocks new threats before they reach the user’s computer. The program offers reliable protection against adware, spyware, dialers and other viruses that take control of the web browser.
There are many other similar programs, such as Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSPyware, Spy Sweeper, Windows Defender, Ad-Aware, and others.
The installation of anti-spyware software significantly increases the security of our data and, consequently, can speed up the operation of the computer, because the spying applications consume a lot of its resources.