Free anti-spyware is software that is designed to combat the installation of spyware on your device. Spyware is usually bundled into third party applications (often freeware) and so the user actually gives the spyware permission to be installed onto their device without knowledge of doing so when installing the legitimate program. A common example of this kind of spyware is when your browser’s search engine is changed for a fraudster’s version.  For every future search you make using this search engine, data could quite easily be collected and sent to a fraudster.

Spyware was designed by fraudsters to capture innocent people’s private data such as; credit card information, social media passwords, internet banking credentials etc. Obviously, this can lead to a lot of upset and loss of cash. Spyware also has the ability to steal memory, processing power and bandwidth from a device which results in poor performance and in extreme cases, the blue screen of death and crashing!

Free anti-spyware software has the ability to scan your device and hunt down any spyware that’s present on it. So, should you ever use your device without an anti-spyware installed? This really depends on how you use your PC. If you’re connected to the internet and often download freeware then we highly advise you to install an anti-spyware tool. Saying that if you’re running an anti-virus software anti-spyware features are usually included as standard.  Running an anti-virus which includes anti-spyware and a separate anti-spyware tool can cause serious issues. If scans are running at the same time it could cause corruption in data and even system crashes.

If you’re a fairly timid user who doesn’t access the internet, download third party applications or make online payments then you’ll be fine without anti-virus or anti-spyware software.  The market for standalone anti-spyware isn’t massive because so many anti-virus programs already include the feature.  If you like to shop online then we recommend purchasing a paid version of an anti-virus software that includes anti-spyware and anti-malware.