21 Oct, 2022 753 Views
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Grayware computer definition is an unwanted application that causes unusual behaviors on the computer. It’s neither a virus nor legitimate software but falls in the area between the two, which is why it is called grayware.

Although a grayware cannot cause potential damage to the computer, it can be annoying and harmful in many ways. Let’s take a look at what grayware computer definition does below.

Grayware Computer Definition


1. Steals Personal Information

Grayware is capable of stealing personal information such as usernames and passwords. By pretending to be a legitimate application and working silently in the background, grayware can record personal information without being exposed.

Grayware has its own internal memory where the user’s information is saved. Through a remote server, grayware transmits the information to the hacker. Often, it results in unauthorized transactions and identity theft.

Grayware computer definition cannot be ignored; even though this unwanted application is not considered as a virus, it can monitor computer activities, including online searches, chat threads, and web page submissions.

2. Generates Unwanted Pop ups

As the grayware computer definition indicated, it causes annoying behaviors on the computer. The grayware, designed to generate revenue for advertisers who have made an agreement with the malware author, creates stubborn and irritating pop-ups on the screen.

The pop-ups redirect users to the advertiser’s page. The user, being unaware that they have grayware, has no idea that it’s silently recording their browsing habits. The information is sold to advertising companies for marketing purposes.

3. Redirects Users to Malicious Websites

Grayware computer definition also redirects users to unwanted websites with malicious content and software. By intercepting the URL, it opens unwanted pages.

One reason for auto-redirect is to install more malware, such as trojans and ransomware. Through a trojan horse, any hacker can take control of the computer without being exposed. By installing ransomware, hackers can encrypt valuable files and demand a ransom later. The installation occurs in the background, making the user unaware of the malicious activity.

4. Slows Down Computer

A sluggish computer is annoying, particularly if you use it as your work computer and are meeting a deadline. It reduces your productivity. Recall the grayware computer definition and remember that grayware can reduce computer efficiency.

Because it consumes a substantial amount of memory, it slows down the computer. Legitimate applications need sufficient space to run properly. With grayware taking up so much space in computer memory, applications become inefficient.

5. Adds Malicious Extensions on Web Browsers

Grayware can also add malicious extensions on your browser toolbar that are designed to steal the personal information stored in web browsers. To make it easier for users to log into their accounts, web browsers provide an option to store passwords.

But because grayware can exploit this, storing passwords on web browsers appears to be a bad idea. The extension looks authentic, but it is secretly recording your personal information.

Now that you know the grayware computer definition and what it means , you are probably asking, “How do I prevent grayware?” Below, we’ll show you.


To give you a better idea, grayware can be acquired unknowingly through the following:

  • Spear Phishing or Spam Emails.
  • Fake Software/ Cracked Software.
  • Pop-Ups.
  • Malvertising or Malicious Ads.
  • Phishing URLs.

The above methods are often used for installing unwanted and malicious applications on random computers, which is a main part of grayware computer definition.

Avoid opening suspicious emails

Hackers can perfectly conceal grayware behind a deceptive attachment. By creating a seemingly authentic email with interesting content, users can easily fall victim to spear phishing. But by not opening an email from an anonymous sender, you can prevent an unwanted installation on your computer.

Avoid downloading cracked software

Cracked software is often bundled with grayware. Worse, you may inadvertently download malware disguised as cracked software.

Downloading free apps is common today, which is why hackers create fake software. By presenting malware as a useful program via grayware computer definition, hackers can trick users into installing malware on their devices.

Enable Pop up blocker

By default, pop-up blockers are enabled on web browsers. But some users disable them. Grayware can also be delivered through pop-ups without the users having to click on them, however.

Install Anti Malware Software

Anti malware software not only protects you from grayware computer definition but also from varieties of malware attacks. Equipped with malware detection tools, anti malware software can detect spear phishing, fake software, phishing URLs, and malicious ads.

So, you never have to worry about falling victim to fake emails or applications, as the anti malware software will automatically block them on the computer.


Now that you know the grayware computer definition, also remember that grayware may not be considered as a virus, but it is still a threat to your personal information. Grayware can be prevented in a number of ways, particularly by installing anti malware software.

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