The new scourge of the Net!
These types of malware programs are often made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, see what you purchase, and send you “pop-up” ads. They can slow down your PC, cause it to crash, and record your credit card numbers and passwords.
In this article I will explain how you get spyware and the ways to fight this disgusting internet problem. Though from here I will collectively refer to it all as Spyware for simplicity.
The worst part about Spyware, is that unlike Viruses, it is not really written by hackers who are out to hurt others by destroying files or attacking websites. Spyware does not replicate itself and attacks your friends and families computers. No, spyware, like it or not, some of it actually coming from big businesses who want to know what you are doing, where you are going and want to know more about you to be able to sell you their products. Other spyware is written by malicious people for the sole purpose of stealing your identity, stealing your banking information, or just to make your life miserable. Though there is no need for you to loose hope, nor to enjoy the internet any less than you do now. You can fight back at these evil doers with a few easy rules and ‘free software.’, ‘Some of the things that will get you Spyware are simply things you download off of the internet. Examples being:
* Toolbars – Just about every major website on the internet has a toolbar. Unfortunately, a majority of these toolbars contain spyware. Unless it’s a trusted site like Yahoo or Google, it’s better off to read the fine print in the license agreement to ensure they are not installing any “3rd Party Software”. Though some of these sites claim they are safe, it’s better to check it out thoroughly first.
* Free Offers A lot of places you go, you will see things like “click here to win free ….” Fill in the blank with whatever you like, but frankly, it’s 99% chance to trap you with not only one spyware, but may contain malicious code that can amazingly install 4, 5 or more different spyware software on your computer without your knowing it. It’s all done in the background and you won’t see a thing. At least until later when your computer slows to a crawl or ceases to be useful in your everyday life.
* Downloading Software The internet is a bevy of great opportunities to get cool utilities, screensavers and other items free of charge for use on your PC. However again, you must take note of the fine print. You may be installing more than you bargained for. Just about every software you can find on the net, you can do another search in your favorite search engine to find out just how useful this product really is. People who have a bit more knowledge are always willing to post their opinions (whether good or bad) on the net about any product they have tried. A couple of simple searches will give you the knowledge you need to decide whether or not you should go forth and use the free software you seek.
There are more ways to get spyware, but the ones listed above are the most popular ways. But how do you get rid of spyware or prevent it from getting on your PC via the many means that it can come to you by? The answer lies in good known products for spyware removal and prevention. I’ll start with prevention with some free reliable tools.
Malwarebytes http://www.malwarebytes.org If you use the free version, there is no active protection. You must update and run scans on your own. If you purchase this product, you get active protection, automatic updates and you can schedule scans. Though if you do have a spyware/malware infection, this is the best product to get rid of it!
Spyware Doctor (Starter Edition) http://www.pctools.com This is the free version of Spyware Doctor. Also a top name in Spyware/Malware protection, detection and removal. This version does offer automatic updates, scans and active protection. The paid version offers even more for a low price. It is not necessary to use both products.
Spyware is strong and a fast growing threat. But if you take a bit of care and caution, you can stop it and prevent it. Now you know…
Widomaker Technical Support Staff
Posted: Aug 26, 2005
Updated/Reviewed: June 17, 2009