As technology advances, people get more paranoid about using their gadgets. Everyone may have had their fair share of wondering whether someone recorded their activities online or watched them through their cameras. Unfortunately, someone could, and you may be correct for putting a tape on your webcam. This is because spyware is a type of malware that can do just that and more.

Keep reading to know more about spyware, its signs of infection, and some helpful prevention tips.

Understanding Spyware

Spyware is malicious software that attacks computers, often behind another program. Similar to a trojan, except spyware remains hidden and won’t show itself when it works. This malware tracks your online activities, reads your messages, and steals your data. Later on, selling it to other hackers at an exorbitant price.

cyber attack prevention plan

In extreme cases, other spyware can activate cameras and microphones and monitor you without notice, just as everybody fears.

Downloading from unverified sources is the most common way to get spyware. Spyware often disguises itself as legitimate software or programs, so some users mistake downloading them since they appear real.

Some of the common types of spyware include:

Password Stealer

This program collects passwords from computers, including credentials from web browsers, system logins, and other critical passwords.

Infostealer

This one scans infected computers to retrieve information like email addresses, usernames, passwords, browser history, etc. An infostealer can also get your credit card information and use it for fraudulent purchases, among other transactions.

Keylogger

A keylogger monitors computer activity, including search history, keystrokes, email discussions, login credentials, and other chatroom dialogues. This type of spyware often captures screenshots of the current window at a scheduled time, and it can capture images, video, and audio without the user’s knowledge.

Signs of Infection

Malware prevention

Spyware attacks indeed go unnoticed because they usually work in the background. However, there are still signs on your computer that indicate an infection. These are some of those indicators to watch out for:

  • Slow computer response
  • Unknown toolbars, search engines, and homepages
  • Web searches being redirected to other pages
  • Unexpected pop-up ads
  • Unidentified icons in the taskbar
  • Disrupting antivirus performance

Preventing Spyware Attacks

Unfortunately, this malware is irremovable once your computer gets infected, like any other virus. So it’s best if you do these countermeasures to prevent them from infiltrating your computer:

  • Install a more powerful cybersecurity program
  • Don’t click any pop-up ads online
  • Never download from suspicious emails and websites
  • Keep your operating systems updated

Spyware

These preventive measures are simple, yet they can go a long way in protecting you and all your essential data.

Fiction Turned Reality

Digital spying is no longer a concept today. Because of spyware, many are already living this nightmare, with some people not knowing they’re being monitored. This malware can track your online movements, steal your data, and capture your images.

It’s one of the risks we take for living in such an aggressive digital world. So, it’s best to educate yourself on different cybersecurity threats, the tools that can help defend your devices, and the common practices preventing these attacks.

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Why your website sucks
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6 Reasons Why Your Website Sucks (and What You Can Do About It)

Have you ever browsed the website of a big company like Dell or Samsung? Were you impressed with how easily you found what you were looking for, despite the all the complexity of their product lines? I guess you probably were. These websites are built to the highest of professional standards. And as a result, the user experience is seamless.

But all too often, startups fail to emulate the seamlessness generated by the big companies. What seems like it should be straightforward and easy turns out to be a lot more complicated than they imagined. Here are some of the reasons why your website sucks and what you can do about it.

1. Boring headlines

In a world that’s full of low brow content and click-bait, it can be hard for your business to compete. People will click on titles that they find the most titillating, rather than the most informative. Titles which aren’t attractive aren’t going to attract much attention on the internet. They might interest specialists, but not the general public.

Making the titles on your website sexier is an easy first step to making your site more attractive. The next step is to include interesting images and perhaps infographics to reel in even more people. Often it’s just about keeping up with what others in your industry are doing, just to enable you to compete.

2. No blog

If you’ve spent any time browsing the sites of smaller companies, you’ll have noticed a trend over the last few years. They all have blogs. No longer is blogging reserved for foodies and disgruntled youth. It’s a tool that practically everybody is using to drive traffic to their websites. But why?

It all comes down to content. First off, search engines love new content. In fact, they take it into consideration every time they calculate your site’s ranking.

But also, the people looking for your product will probably want to read more about it. That’s why you’ll often find blogs on the sites of companies that sell complex products.

Legal firms, for example, make a point of running blogs that explain how their processes work in layman’s terms. It’s all designed to be helpful, accessible content for potential customers.

3. No website marketing plan

Your website is like the display window at the front of a department store. It’s the public facing part of your business. And it’s got to look good. But all too often, startup websites aren’t fronts for their brands. They’re generic templates that look as if they’ve been thrown together in five minutes.

Building brand identity through your website is an essential part of building a successful business. Because it’s your website that the public and other businesses see, this is what defines you. That’s why it’s so important that it’s good.

Take a couple of hours thinking about exactly what information you want to communicate through your website. What should it be saying about your business? And are there any graphics or logos that you should include to make it consistent?

4. Being too modest

The internet is full of people unashamedly screaming out for attention. Sometimes what they have to offer is good. But most of the time, the content itself is far from ideal.

The problem for the startup, however, is being heard above the noise. This is challenging enough in itself. But often startups will be further hamstrung because they are too modest to seek publicity.

The key to generating interest in your website is to tell your story. It doesn’t have to be War and Peace, of course. It just has to be the story about why your company is unique.

Customers are most interested in your story than you realise. Stories are what draws them into your firm’s brand. It’s what gives customers an affinity with you do. And it’s what gives them something to believe in.

If your startup is an ethical company, you can build this ethical aspect into your brand by telling a story. Perhaps you wanted to set up a chain of healthy, fast-food restaurants because you objected to what the big corporates were doing. This is the type of story that people can really get on board with. And it’s the sort of thing that will align them with your brand.

5. Failing to list on established sites

Even if you do everything right, your website may still get lost in among the billions of pages on the internet. That’s why it’s worth using more established sites to get a leg up.

The first thing that you can do is make comments on other sites. The goal here isn’t necessarily to build links. It’s to create engaging, helpful and meaningful content that will build reputation. As your name floats around the internet, this will divert more traffic to your website and help improve its visibility.

The second thing that you can do is write articles and try to get them published on other websites. This will mean that more people will come into contact with your message. And more potential customers are likely to want to know more about you by going to your website. Guest blogging is an excellent way to get your site known to another site’s audience.

The third thing that you can do is connecting your site through popular social media channels. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are all being used right now by businesses to promote their websites and their content.

6. Failing to use pay-per-click advertising

In the early days, very few people will visit your site, if any. The majority of your business will be done through word of mouth and recommendations. But there are limits to that kind of growth in a digital economy. And that’s why pay-per-click advertising is so important.

Essentially, PPC funnels interested customers to your website, dramatically increasing traffic. PPC is moderately expensive for a startup. But it’s something that can be tapered down once you build your reputation and traffic increases naturally. Often PPC advertising pays for itself. Most small businesses will use something like Google Adwords.

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