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Children and Spyware

Aug 17, 2007
A recent case of a Connecticut teacher exposing her class to pornographic pop-ups should be a wakeup call to all of us. The teacher was recently convicted and faces up to forty years in prison even though the defense claims that her computer was infested with spyware that essentially hijacked her computer and began displaying the pornography. Whatever the truth in this case actually is, we all need to realize that spyware and other destructive programs can reek havoc on our computers and perhaps even our jobs, relationships and in this case our freedom.

How can this happen? Perhaps you open an innocent looking email, maybe even from a friend, and you download the attached file. Next thing you know your computer is wiped clean of data or advertising starts popping up whenever you use your browser.You download free software, torrents or videos and suddenly you find the homepage for your browser has changed, popups promoting porn sites are randomly generated, or your computer generally becomes sluggish and odd things start occurring.

Young people are particularly vulnerable to this sort of thing as they tend to be a bit more adventurous on the computer and less hesitant than many adults when in comes to downloading from the internet. This can be a big problem especially if the students are sharing a computer with the rest of the family.

Does this mean that we should ban kids from using computers. Hardly. The ability to use a computer is a required skill in our society. However, there are a few precautions we could take.

The first and ultimately most important thing we can do is to educate our children on safe computing practices. For example, teach them that opening email attachments is very dangerous unless we know for certain that the sender did send us the message and attached the file. Some malicious programs hijack one's computer and send out emails with attachments to all the people in your address book. So the email that your friend receives came from you. Usually the message will be somewhat innocuous like, "Hey how are you doing. Here's a cool file for you to check out". If you get something like this, email your friend back and verify that they did in fact send you an email. If not, then delete the message without opening the attachment.

Safe practices like this can not only make your computer safe from destructive programs but make your time online and offline more constructive and pleasant.
About the Author
For more articles on how to protect your computer from spyware, adware, viruses, trojans and other malware visit:
http://www-spywareremovalfree.net/ here.
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