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(also anti-spyware software, apyware)

Anti-spyware definition

Anti-spyware is a cybersecurity tool designed to detect and remove spyware (malware that is secretly installed on a device to collect data about the user). Due to its narrow scope of operation, most anti-spyware is bundled together with other cybersecurity tools into comprehensive cybersecurity packages.

See also: spyware, anti-malware, antivirus

Types of anti-spyware

  • Signature-based detection: The anti-spyware compares the suspected file’s digital signature (data derived from the file’s contents using a cryptographic hash function) against a pre-selected database of known spyware signatures.
  • Rules-based detection): The anti-spyware checks system logs (or running processes) to evaluate the file’s behavior. Suspicious actions, such as unwarranted permission requests or attempts to connect to remote servers, are immediately flagged and brought to the attention of the user.

Real anti-spyware examples

  • NordVPN’s Threat Protection scans files for malware (including spyware) as they’re being downloaded. Because spyware can be difficult to remove even with dedicated tools, taking preventive action is the safest way to protect your device and data.

Further reading

Ultimate digital security