Update: Ultimate Links - How to Detect Spyware Programs

There are different levels of Spying. For example, Alexa, popular software owned by Amazon.com, would be called a “BackDoor Santa” it doesn’t actually log your keystrokes or take system snapshots but it does record some surfing activity. However, programs like Spector are very skilled at stealthily gathering information including passwords, surfing history, and even chat logs and e-mails. If you haven’t done so already take a moment to read the Introduction to Spyware and Malware located here.

Who is Spying your System? How to monitor your system and check for the signs of spy softwares.

1) Work Environment: Assume you are being monitored. Most workplaces have the right to do this so by default get used to the fact that someone is monitoring you. There are several ways employers can monitor employees. Some use activity logging software to see what programs are being accessed and for how long. Naturally many will use spy software programs also known as “snoop ware” or a key-logger to take snapshots and log all keystrokes. An employer may actually monitor internet traffic as it moves across an intranet.

2) Anti-Spy Programs: A popular way to find out if someone is spying on you. Anti-Spy programs look for signatures or traces that are specific to certain spy software. Some simply do text string scanning to find them, and others i.e. (X-Cleaner from Xblock) actually extract and attempt to remove the Spyware. Be careful of the ones that use only text string scanning. Text string scanning can give false positives and in some cases it actually it can accidentally target anti-spy software! You can try a free online scanner.

Anti-Spy software can be a double-edged sword! Many spies will actually buy anti-spy software to scan and check to make sure their Spyware is not being detected. There is a hidden arms race that rages between Spyware vendors and anti-spy companies.

3) System Resources: Poorly written spy software will almost always put a drag on system resources. Watch out for poor system resources, running out of memory, lots of hard disk activity or a screen that “flickers”. This is caused by some spy software programs as they take snapshots of the computer screen that requires system resources.

4) Machine Access: Watch for people trying to gain access to your machine. Many software programs that are designed for spying require physical access to the target machine.

5) Installation Monitors: Currently on the market are software programs that will log every installation that occurs on your machine...

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