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What is grayware? Is it dangerous for my PC?

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What is grayware? Is it dangerous for my PC?

Certain notions of computation may have eluded us for a while until we eventually find them in practice, and then we are forced to learn the theory of how they work. For example, if you have read or heard about this concept but do not know what it is, in this article we analyze what grayware is and what dangers it can have for your PC, in order to avoid it.

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In general terms, if we talk about grayware, we may be referring to a wide variety of software, ranging from those that are completely harmless, to others that could cause us a lot of damage. It all depends on the type of grayware in question, so be careful when we find them in use.

This is because, as our reliance on technology increases over time, those who “work” as cybercriminals are perfecting their ways of exploiting people through computers. To achieve this, it uses many of the programs that we run on a day-to-day basis. Mainly with classic methods, including malware, within which we have different categories, one of them being grayware.

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But what is grayware like? How can we detect its presence and know if it is dangerous?

What feature does grayware have

As its name suggests, when we talk about grayware, we focus on that middle ground where applications are halfway between causing harm and being harmless. Unlike malware, which was originally developed to cause damage to the devices it attacks.

Grayware, on the other hand, can include a wide variety of software. From those that are absolutely harmless, to those that are relatively dangerous, depending on a series of factors that will determine their scope. It is important, however, to remember that grayware is almost never as harmful as malware.

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Unlike malware attacks, grayware attacks can be legitimate in some specific circumstances. However, its ability to negatively affect the performance of our computer is what tells us that we are in the presence of a suspicious element. One that is not conventional software.

Most common types of grayware

We said before this classification contains a wide variety of programs, which for some can make it a bit difficult to understand what it implies. However, there are some clear signs to help you understand.


Spyware is one that allows cybercriminals to monitor the actions of a person or group of them. It has been thought from the beginning to track the activity of someone or someone, and obtain information. Of course, this data is stolen, since there is no consent from the victim.

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The information is usually then sold to an interested third party. Or the victim is blackmailed into paying in exchange for the data not being published or shared with others.


Adware is another example of grayware, in which case frequent browser pop-ups appear. We could say that its objective is diametrically opposite, since it focuses on annoying advertising. Basically, it tries to get the user to buy products or hire services by insisting all the time.

The biggest problem is that adware can also use our IP address and track browsing activity, tailoring ads to our interests to be successful, posing a security risk.

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Adware is often accidentally installed when we download software from the Internet using illegal sites. Therefore, our recommendation is that you take special care when handling these web pages.


Madware (or mobile adware) is another internal classification of grayware that targets smartphones and tablets. Just like typical adware, they take advantage of advertisements to profit from their Android victims. Meanwhile, reports of malware attacks on iOS are almost non-existent. And although Google has come a long way in terms of security in the latest versions of Android, the old ones are vulnerable.

Just like on computers, always download your apps from the Google Play Store, just in case.

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Although we will not necessarily be affected by the presence of grayware on our computer, we must always be aware of its action in the background. It can compromise your private data or completely ruin your Windows using experience, so it is advisable to uninstall it as soon as possible.