There are often times where we need to download software on our devices. However, many times when we download something onto our devices, we often ignore the risks that could come with downloading a program on our devices. Scammers come up with clever ways to hide malware in software without us even realizing it. This is why it’s important to know what is grayware and how you can prevent it from going onto your device.
What is Grayware?
Grayware is a type of software that sits between being malware and legit software. While this isn’t classified as a virus or malware, it can still be harmful to your device. This is because it contains files that can track your activity when you use your device and can also allow for pop-up advertisements on your computer. This can then affect your device’s performance and speed over time, and it’s also annoying to deal with.
What are the Two Types of Grayware?
- Spyware is a type of grayware that spies on your activity as you are using your device. This type of grayware can record your personal information as you enter it on your devices, such as your account information, financial information, SSN, or other personal information. It runs silently in the background unknown.
- Adware displays ads that appeal to you based on the activity the spyware spied on.
How Could Grayware Get Installed On Your Device?
- You can get grayware by downloading free software programs on your device unknowingly by accepting end-user license agreements.
- You could get grayware by clicking on pop-up advertisements that are advertising free anti-viral programs, prizes, or software updates.
- You can get grayware by clicking on phishing links sent via email, text messages, or instant messages.
How Can Grayware Damage Your Device?
- It can take up your device’s disk space.
- It makes your device run slower than it’s supposed to.
- It can generate pop-up windows that can interrupt your browsing time.
- It can consume your device’s memory and processors.
What Types of Devices Can Grayware Target?
While most people think that grayware can only infect computers, grayware has also become increasingly popular on mobile devices. This is because people download mobile apps and games without realizing that these random downloads could have consequences. This type of malware is known as madware, which is a type of grayware that targets mobile devices through free mobile apps that rely on ads for revenue.
Madware can do the following:
- It can recognize the location and phone number of your device.
- It can plague your phone with text message ads.
- It can show ads in your phone’s notification bar.
- It can change your bookmarks.
- It can raise your costs for text messaging and data.
- It can change your dial tone.
- It can put shortcuts or icons on your home screen without your permission.
How Can You Prevent Grayware on Your Device?
- Don’t download computer programs or mobile apps without doing your research on them first.
- Don’t give permissions to apps to access your location or data without doing your research on what that app will do with that information.
- Only download apps and computer programs from trusted websites and the App Store/Google Play Store only.
- Take the time to read any terms and conditions or end-user license agreements before accepting and downloading the program.
- Don’t click on phishing links or pop-up ads on your device.
- Make sure your software on both your computer and mobile devices is up to date.
- Install trusted security software on your devices after doing your research, such as Norton or McAfee.
Social Catfish is Here to Help
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with if you are wondering what is grayware and whether or not it is on your device.
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