Guide 2 Spyware - Detect & Remove Spyware

   
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Guide 2 Spyware   >   Spyware & Adware Facts

Spyware and Adware - Symptoms and Removal

by Debbie Jacobsen

Spyware and Adware Facts:

* Of the more than one billion computers on the internet today, 80% are not protected against spyware and adware.

* Spyware is the most common and most dangerous internet security threat today.

* Spyware is designed to steal our personal information so it can be used for illegal purposes.

* It is estimated that 60% of computers are infected with spyware and/or adware.

* Spyware is usually installed on our computers without our knowledge. We are usually "tricked" into installing adware by failing to read lengthy license agreements.

* Free software and cheap software usually contains spyware and/or adware.

* Free adware removers and free anti spyware software usually contains spyware.

* You can get spyware simply by browsing to an unscrupulous website.

* The amount of spyware on the internet has doubled within the past year, and will continue to grow significantly.

* Anti Spyware software is necessary to remove adware and spyware, and prevent you from getting it again. Antivirus software is not capable of removing all spyware and adware.


Spyware

Spyware is a small program or piece of code that is secretly installed on your computer and designed to "spy" on your online activity and/or personal information. Although not all spyware is used for illegal purposes, most of it can be very dangerous due of its ability to record keystrokes, take snapshots of our PC screen, and monitor everything we do online. Spyware that is used to commit crimes is called crime-ware.

Spyware gathers information and transmits it to the person who planted it. This person may use it himself or sell it to others. If the stolen data includes bank account or credit card information, you can be certain it will be used for a criminal's personal gain. Other stolen information such as social security numbers, drivers license numbers, addresses, etc..., is often used in identity theft.


Symptoms of Spyware

Spyware is designed to run quietly in the background of our PC, and is normally not detectable unless you have a lot of it. The most common signs that your computer is infested with spyware is:

* Your computer is running much slower than usual.

* Your computer takes a lot longer to boot up than it used to.

* You see a lot of activity on your network connection.


Meet Spyware's Close Cousin - Adware

A close relative of spyware is commonly known as adware. Adware intrudes on your privacy much like spyware does, but unlike spyware which is designed to steal confidential information, adware's purpose is usually related to marketing. In its most innocent form, adware tracks your browsing habits, the type of ads you click on, bookmarks you make and other similar online activities.

A more dangerous and unsavory form of adware is designed to force you to look at certain advertisements or websites. This type of adware is often used to lure you to a place where spyware can be installed. Because adware's purpose is designed to get you to perform an action, it is much easier to recognize than spyware.


Common Symptoms of Adware:

* A hijacked browser home page. When you open your browser you see a different website.

* Pop-up ads that won't quit.

* New icons or shortcuts on your desktop or new items in your favorites.

* New web pages keep opening by themselves.

* Search results that make no sense. Clicking on the links here will install spyware on your PC.


How to Detect and Remove Spyware and Adware

Obviously, spyware and adware are NOT something you want to have on your computer. The only way to detect and remove all the spyware and adware on your PC is to use anti-spyware software. There are many good anti spyware products on the market, and many are available to try for free before you buy.

Because free adware removers and free anti-spyware software is often designed to trick you into installing more adware and spyware on your computer, it is best to stay away from free spyware removers and free adware removers.

For the best protection and peace of mind, purchase good anti spyware software from a reputable security company.


Some Recommended Anti Spyware Software to Consider:

* Sunbelt Software's CounterSpy

* Computer Associate's eTrust Pest Patrol

* Grisoft Software's Ewido Anti-Spyware

* Outpost Pro Firewall - Firewall and anti-spyware in one.

* McAfee Security AntiSpyware software

* X-Cleaner


About the Author

Debbie is an information technology professional and author of Antivirus, Firewall and Spyware Resources [http://www.antivirus-firewall-spyware.com] - an informative website about computer security.

For more information, see her page on Spyware [http://www.antivirus-firewall-spyware.com/spyware.html].



 
       
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