The primary drawback of spyware is that it can collect personal information without the user’s knowledge. It can collect information such as web browsing history or passwords, as well as credit card data that can be used for unauthorised shopping or cash withdrawals. It also monitors online activity and collects information about a computer’s Internet and local network settings to control how the machine is used.

This can be achieved through a variety ways that include installing additional software on the device or changing the dynamically linked library which is how applications are connected to Internet. Spyware is also capable of creating other issues. These can range from pop-up advertisements to connectivity issues that are hard to pinpoint. It can even modify the security settings of a PC to permit the entry of more malware.

Spyware can take over system resources, consuming memory, CPU power and disk space. This could result in slow performance, slow applications and even system crash. It could also steal private information and redirect searches to unwanted websites.

Users can limit the dangers of spyware by becoming educated on its dangers. They should stay clear of downloading software from sites that are not trustworthy. They must go through the fine print of any agreement before signing it. Also, they should not click on pop-ups with links since this could result in the installation of spyware. It is also recommended to use strong passwords on all accounts, and not reuse them across multiple applications. They should also check their computer for spyware and upgrade their security.