29 Dec 2016

When people think of hackers, they think of greasy people stuck to a computer in dark basements all over the world. They think the same thing of the programs hackers use to disrupt people’s lives. Underground. Dirty. Easy to spot as something dangerous.

But that’s simply not what all hackers and hacking software look like. In fact, you can find some hacking software on the Google Play store. And not just apps that Google will find and take down, but legitimate apps that regular people download every day.

We’re talking about spyware of course.

Spyware is a form of hacking that’s become so common there is a legitimate market for it today. It’s any type of software that gathers user data without the victim knowing. That could mean transactions, website history, and even location. Those open market spyware apps we were talking about earlier are on the Google Play market to track the location of a device.

In most cases, that means a person downloads a spyware app on someone else’s device and sends that data to their own device. But spyware isn’t just being used by parents trying to find out where their kids are. It’s being used by hackers right now to work around security measures like passwords and two-step verification to access sensitive information. Your financial login credentials, your patient’s medical records, and even your location is vulnerable. Spyware has many ugly faces, but if you keep reading we’ll show you a few ways you can tell if you’re being watched.

On a tablet or phone, one of the easiest ways you can check for spyware is by doing an app audit. It may sound too simple to be effective, but think about it, do you really know what every app on your device does or how it got there? Do you know the difference between apps that the phone comes with and ones that it didn’t? If you don’t, one of the easiest ways to clear your device is by simply checking every app in your phone and making sure you know why it’s there.

Unfortunately, it’s not all that simple, though. Spyware can be hidden in ways other than apps, which means you have to know other identifiers. If your device is unusually warm or loses battery quickly, you could have spyware running under the surface. And if you want to be extra cautious, you can download apps like Anti Spy from the app store to scan your phone for Android devices.

Spyware doesn’t just apply to mobile devices, though. On a computer, spyware can take many more forms. For example, hackers can set up devices that will sniff the signal a wireless keyboard sends to a computer, read the keystrokes, and discover login credentials for sensitive information. But Spyware doesn’t just target keystrokes. It can collect data on just about anything. What sites you visit, what you do one those sites and how long you do it, what programs you run, and how you access them. There really is no limit you what Spyware can monitor and send off on a computer. If you want to check to see if spyware is running on your computer, you can basically do what you did for a mobile device. Find any programs you don’t recognize running on your CPU and get rid of them. You can also check the ports in your firewall to see if any are transferring data out.

Unfortunately, these steps won’t guarantee that you are spyware free. However, they will set you, and your sensitive data, a step above most people and organizations, and when a hacker is looking for an easy target that could make a world of difference.

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule an Appointment

    Our clients are awesome!

    Based on 55 reviews.
    Jeremy Richards
    Jeremy Richards
    2020-03-13
    Petronella provides great advanced digital marketing and automation solutions for my business!
    Kate Swenson
    Kate Swenson
    2020-02-14
    Highly recommended for CMMC certification assistance! Excellent and affordable options for secure data hosting on local infrastructure. 5 stars!
    Tom Matzen
    Tom Matzen
    2020-01-25
    Petronella Technology Group helped us setup our sales and marketing automation, cybersecurity and compliance for our new Blockchain startup. Great to work with! Craig in particular really knows his stuff, can translate into non-tech speak, and has wisdom beyond his years. Highly recommend them.
    Justin Summers
    Justin Summers
    2020-01-14
    Craig is awesome! He is very professional and efficient with his work. I would definitely recommend Petronella Technology to anyone who needs state of the art service.
    Blake Rea
    Blake Rea
    2020-01-14
    Craig is an expert in his field. Impressed by his knowledge, A true pioneer in Cybersecurity. My business is safer thanks to Petronella Tech!
    Robert Friedman
    Robert Friedman
    2020-01-10
    For the last five years Craig has been the Contributing Editor for Cybersecurity for NC Triangle Attorney Law Magazine which I publish. His base of knowledge is always leading edge, pragmatic and early to understand for our readers who are not techies. He is patient and easy to work with.
    Tammy Everett
    Tammy Everett
    2020-01-10
    Craig Petronella, CEO of Petronella Technology Group provided the members of the Defense Alliance of North Carolina expert advice on cybersecurity and NIST compliance. Eye opening experience! Thanks so much!
    Julie Brown
    Julie Brown
    2020-01-09
    Craig and the Petronella Technology Group, Inc. team made HIPAA compliance for my small practice so simple and easy! They helped me with all of my HIPAA training, HIPAA Security Risk Assessment, Penetration Test, and HIPAA secure hosting so I can rest easy.
    Pivot Point
    Pivot Point
    2020-01-03
    Petronella Technology Group helped us with our marketing strategy for our new web startup. Awesome experience!!!!
    Richard Brunet
    Richard Brunet
    2019-12-30

    SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT

    Make It Happen Now

    CLIENT SUPPORT

    Don't Feel Stranded

    CONSULTATION

    Get Best Advice

    PAYMENTS

    Make A Payment

    Top