If your software is collecting your digital information and then sharing it with a third-party without your permission, then it's spyware, a harmful software category that spans browser cookies, adware,more
If your software is collecting your digital information and then sharing it with a third-party without your permission, then it's spyware, a harmful software category that spans browser cookies, adware, Web beacons, and keyloggers -- to, perhaps, even your favorite software.
Thankfully, you can grab a spyware-monitoring app or extension to watch for and remove trackers and other forms of spyware.
Although tracking your online and computing behaviors can be used for good -- sharing software diagnostics with a developer, for example -- when it occurs without your knowledge or consent, it's a problem. And while milder forms of spyware can take the form of adware or co-opt your browser to display annoying pop-up ads, more viral types can capture keystrokes or share financial information.
Well, it depends on what you mean by "spying." Windows users were up in arms about perceived spyware activities when Windows 10 first shipped. Twitter recently shifted its privacy policies to allow it to share more information about you and your activities with advertisers. And reputable -- and disreputable -- websites track your online browsing and purchasing activities. And Facebook. Well...
Because it spans Web beacons to malware on your Mac, you need to take a broad approach. A browser extension like Ghostery can detect and block Web tracking tools to protect your data. And for a more serious infestation, turn to one of the anti-spyware tools we recommend to root out the malicious software.
The free Ghostery browser extension shows trackers on a Website page and gives you control over how you share your browsing history. You can block individual trackers or an entire class of spyware to significantly speed up your browsing.
ClamXav comes with a 30-day free trial, and for $29.95 you can install on any Mac you own. You can set ClamXav to scan a specific file and folder or all your files. If the software identifies infected files, it guides you through your next steps. You can also set up a scanning schedule as well as have ClamXav monitor activity in the background.
MacScan detects and removes spyware, lets you schedule scans, and makes whitelists and blacklists for browser cookies. An annual subscription is $49.99.
Malwarebytes for Mac can remove spyware as well as adware and malware. And it's free. The software won't scan automatically and requires you to initiate a scan.