Information is power and also money, which is why there are applications to obtain information from others, whether for police investigations, controlling workers or stealing bank credentials. Whatever the case, the spyware not only does it take away resources from our PC without us knowing, but it also threatens our individual freedom.
Actually, the vast majority of free programs that we use today they are in charge of monitoring our activity with our PC for statistics and as information for different market studies. Thus, browsers take information from the places we visit, Steam and the Epic Store collect data on what we play at all times and even Windows itself collects information in order to improve the operation of the operating system. So technically they can be considered Spyware, but they do not reach the level of dangerous applications, unless it is clear that you live in the middle of a dictatorship, then they become covert surveillance services.
What types of Spyware are there?
However, despite the fact that many of us live in countries where there is a democracy and with it freedom of ideas and expression, in recent years totalitarian tools have been developed in work environments to control employees. Among them are:
- Those that record user keystrokesand therefore can steal passwords.
- The who take screenshotswhether in video or image.
- And they even record what our webcam does. All this without the knowledge of the people under surveillance.
Although here we are not going to go into the policies of certain companies to catch and control their employees. We are not oblivious to them, but neither is it our duty, but we are going to tell you how you can check if you have one or more of these applications installed on your PC.
How do they affect PC performance?
Obviously, like all programs, they are going to spend resources on your computer and these are totally finite, although many of them are subtle enough to know how to hide from scrutiny through the Task Manager, others, on the other hand, hide under service names system key. The best solution? Have an application against malicious programs, which is paradoxical, since these are also spyware and you will need to keep them up to date.
However, we can manually detect them with a bit of skill and send them to oblivion without having to rely on an application to monitor them.
How do I make sure there is no Spyware on my PC?
Now we have to go to the heart of it, that is why we are going to give you some tricks to detect that there is no Spyware being executed on your PC.
- Type MSCONFIG in the search box on the taskbar, the “System Configuration” application should appear in it, enter it.
- In the services tab you will be able to see the list of those that are running at all times, if there is one that seems suspicious to you, simply uncheck it so that it stops running.
- Pay special attention to the column that says Manufacturer, as this ensures that the service is certified. By the way, we recommend checking the box Hide all Microsoft services to remove from view those that are from Windows itself and, therefore, are key to the system.
Via the command line
This way is similar to the previous one, we just have to access the command line by pressing the Windows + X keys and select PowerShell (administrator) and write the following command: tasklist /fi “STATUS eq RUNNING” to see all the applications that are currently running.
- Remember that Spyware is not a system service, so it will not hide as such. However, it can be chosen as Universal App, in that case the command is: tasklist /apps /fi “STATUS eq RUNNING”
- In the event that you want to kill a program, it is as easy as typing on the command line: taskkill /f /im program executable on the list. For example, if the program is shown as spyware.exe in the image name column, you should write: taskkill /f /im spyware.exe and always respecting upper and lower case letters.
They can be hidden in the Windows temporary folder.
Spyware often comes in the form of web applications, which can leave a loophole in the Windows temporary files folder. which you will find in C:\WINDOWS\Temp. Since the stored files are temporary information that has been left behind and is not necessary, we recommend that you clean this folder periodically.
We also recommend using ccleaner to periodically clean temporary browser files on your PC and leave it cleaner than a whistle when it comes to software. Since from time to time some other spyware will be loaded in the form of a web application in the browser.