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Spyware: The Unseen Computer Perpetrator

Aug 17, 2007
Spyware can be a very annoying hassle to deal with when it embeds itself on a computer. Spyware reports information that it finds on a computer to a third party. It does this without the consent of the computer's owner.

What kind of spying does spyware do?
Spyware, in easy terms, is a computer program that monitors what you do on your computer and then sends that information to another party over the Internet. As far as the "spying" goes, many kinds of spyware can keep track of the web sites that you visit. This enables third parties to see what you are interested in, and send you advertisements in the form of spam. Some legitimate companies use spyware for advertisement purposes. This type of spyware is often referred to as adware, and is not as malicious as other spyware. At the same time, however, it is just as annoying to most computer users.

Some spyware can be much more dangerous than this, and can even keep a record of every keystroke that you type on your computer. In other words, it can detect your passwords and even collect your credit card or bank account information, if you type it into your computer. This type of spyware can lead to identity theft, stolen funds, and some rather large headaches!

Where does spyware come from?
One of the most common ways of getting spyware on your computer is by visiting web sites that try to install it on your computer. Many of these web sites have spam on them that trigger pop-up screens to appear on your screen. These pop-up screens can tempt you to click on them by offering free prizes, games, blogs, and other fun things. However, when you click on one of them, they install malicious files onto your computer. Sometimes you won't even realize what has happened. Other times, you will know immediately that your computer has been infected - as your will get bombarded with pop-up screens or your home page will change to something other than what it was.

How can you get rid of spyware on your computer?
There are a large variety of computer software programs available on the market today that can eliminate spyware from your computer. This software is known as anti-spyware. Some of the more popular anti-spyware programs include Webroot Spy Sweeper, SpyBlaster, and Windows Defender. You can purchase these programs in computer and electronics stores, or you can even download them directly off of the Internet from their official web sites. Some anti-spyware programs are free, however the best ones typically come with a price. Sometimes your Internet cable or DSL service provider (if you have one) will provide you with an anti-spyware program included in your package. No matter what type of anti-spyware program you get, you will be able to update your anti-spyware programs as newer versions become available.

How often should you run your anti-spyware program?
If you really want to be safe about it, you should run your anti-spyware program every time you use your computer. They are fairly quick programs to use, and can even run in the background while you work on something else.
About the Author
More Computer Security Articles at http://eComputerSecurity-Today.com. Learn how to operate a Successful Niche Website Network at http://eWebCreator.com. Matthew Hick has been designing profitable Niche Adsense Websites for over 5 years.
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