Rid Your Computer Of Spyware
Spyware has quickly become the new plague for all computer owners. What started as a nuisance has now grown to a problem of epidemic proportions. Just as you were getting to grips with dealing with floods of spam, deleting viruses and fiddling with firewalls you now have a new threat - spyware! The days of just having to worry about virus infected floppy disks are long over - spyware is the new real threat to computer security and even your own personal identity. Spyware is lurking on the Internet just waiting for you. Some people also refer to spyware as malware or parasiteware.
Spyware are small pieces of software design to do a number of different things but they overall effect is that they compromise your online safety, security and personal privacy. Spyware is normally downloaded to your PC without your agreement and once there can perform tasks ranging from redirecting your web browser to porno sites to logging every word you type on your keyboard. That's right. Instant message, personal emails, banking details, social security numbers and credit card information can all be sent to a hacker without you ever even knowing.
Some types of spyware are just plain annoying but most of the spyware out there is extremely harmful to your PC. Keeping your anti-virus and firewall software up to do date is very important. That alone won't be enough though. You'll need to get yourself some spyware removal software and the recommendations here are AdAware and Spybot. Ideally you should install both of these pieces of free spyware removal software. Why both? Simply because you'll need to scan with both of them to make you catch every possible threat.
So how does your PC get infected with spyware? Spyware will get onto your PC in one of three ways:
File Sharing Applications
Many of the big name file sharing applications are riddled with all kinds of spyware. iMesh and Kazaa are the two biggest offenders in this regard - installing either of these on a brand new PC will result in 50 - 100+ pieces of spyware being installed at the same time. If you really have to use an file sharing (P2P) program then use something like Kazaa Lite or Bearshare instead.
Don't assume that just because the software seems legitimate that spyware won't get installed. There's a lot of shareware and freeware available for download which are just as likely to leave you with a spyware problem as anything else. The authors of the software basically add to their income by installing spyware and adware on your PC without your knowledge or consent. Totally and utterly illegal of course.
These websites are normally loaded down with every conceivable type of spyware. The most common trick is for a message to popup saying "Download Free xxx Movie" or something along those lines. You click on OK. Your PC is now infected with spyware, a virus or maybe even a modem hijacker. Visit these websites at your own risk and if you do then make absolutely certain that you have fully updated firewall and anti-virus software.
The people who write viruses are now combining viruses with spyware to form hybrid software that both causes problems with your PC and steals your password and private information. 90% of viruses are received via email. If you receive an email from somebody you don't know with files attached to it simply delete the email. If not you run the risk of serious virus infection. Note that about 300 new viruses appear each month so it's absolutely critical to have up-to-date virus software installed on your computer.
Spyware is here to stay. There's no point in hoping that your PC won't get infected because no matter how careful you are spyware will eventually find its way onto your computer at home, at work or possibly on both. You need to take precautions and scan your computer for spyware at least once a month.
What Is Adware? Where Does It Come From?
When people think about those annoying programs that get onto their PC they just think "damned spyware".
How To Remove Adware
Most computer users tend to think that if you can find simply find the adware files on your PC and delete them that the problem is solved.
What Is A Firewall?
Any computer user who spends any amount of time online should be using firewall software.
Removing Spyware For Free
Learn how to remove basic spyware with a free tool.
Types Of Spyware
There is more than just one type of spyware.
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