What is Spyware?

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What is Spyware?

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:17 am

Spyware is a term covering a large range of software that gathers information without your knowledge. Using the Internet connection, this software can track where you go and what you do. It is often packaged as an extra component of freeware and shareware programs. Once installed, spyware can transmit information back to someone else in the background. Additionally, some spyware is capable of capturing and transmitting email addresses, credit card numbers, passwords, and other private information.

You may be wondering what the difference is between adware and spyware. They sound a lot alike, and thatís because they are actually the same thing. The difference is that spyware abuses its powers to monitor a userís activity, though it is often used for advertising purposes just like adware.

Spyware can also be installed on your computer through a virus. The biggest problem with spyware is that though it is sometimes used for advertising purposes, it can also be used by identity thieves to steal your personal information.

Fighting Back

Spyware can attack you from many corners, and as much as you may try to get away from it, youíll probably still run into it sometimes. So, you need a way to fight back, and thatís what spyware and adware detections removal tools help you do. There are many types of software out there, but the top three remain pretty stable.

1. Ad-Aware: There are two versions of this great tool Ė the free version and the Professional version. Both are effective, but for a low fee, you can get the Professional version that actively monitors your computer for both spyware and adware.

2. Spybot Search & Destroy: For those of you out there who want the best product you can get for the least money, this is your software. Spybot is free, though they do request contributions, and it can take care of most of your spyware problems. Unlike Ad-Aware, Spybot does not actively work to protect your computer. Instead you must run a scan to get rid of spyware.

3. McAfee Anti-Spyware: Weíve all heard of McAfee for their Anti-virus products, but they also offer an Anti-Spyware program. This free program provides real-time scans of your computer and all files. Everything sounds great, but this small program takes up an amazing amount of space. If you donít have a lot of RAM, it may affect the other programs youíre running.

Choosing an Anti-Spyware Program

Choosing an anti-spyware program is essential for protecting your identity from hackers and thieves. A few dollars a year will be worthwhile when it means protecting your entire personal and financial standing and records.

If you canít afford a program right now or would just prefer the free versions, you need to set up a schedule to run the programs. Generally, you should take time once a week to perform your spyware scans, your anti-virus scan, your newest Windows or Mac updates, and clean up your desktop and hard drive. By scheduling these important tasks for the same time each week, your computer will always stay protected and running in perfect condition.

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