Are you aware of Spyware?

I was having a conversation with a friend yesterday about his dying computer, a very old laptop, that is probably nearing the end of its functional life cycle. In conversation, I asked him what program he used to handle spyware, thinking that perhaps it might be contributing to his frustration. Suprisingly to me, he had never heard of Spyware specifically. I described it to him the best I could, and told him about ways to handle it. That got me thinking that perhaps I should share my limited knowledge of dealing with the evils of spyware with those who visit voice. (both of you, ha ha) Wikipedia defines Spyware as follows: “Spyware is a broad category of malicious software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer‘s operation without the informed consent of that machine’s owner or legitimate user.” In short it is evil. It is typically created by a marketer who wants to figure out where you are going on the web, and then annoy you with spam and pop-up advertisements. More evil variants of Spyware go as far as gathering sensitive information about you like your credit card numbers, exposing you to the dangers of identity theft. Spyware runs in the background on your computer, eats memory, and makes your computer perform horribly. What can you do? Well, I am by no means an authority on spyware, but I can give you a few simple tips to help you lower your risk of having issues with Spyware. First, use Mozilla Firefox to surf the web. It is less susceptible to spyware, and has so many features that make it superior to Internet Explorer. Next, be careful where you go on the web. Gaming sites, music and file sharing sites, adult sites, and catalog ordering sites are notorious for having spyware. Proceed with caution. Finally, run all three of the following free programs regularly: Adaware, Spybot, and Microsoft AntiSpyware Beta. All are free and operate differently. They will all catch different items, improving the performance of your computer. That is a quick rundown on spyware.
Lifehacker has a great article on spyware. and Wikipedia has volumes of great information with more detail, and has many more advanced techniques on spyware removal.

2 Responses to “Are you aware of Spyware?”

  1. 2 aeccestane June 12, 2006 at 5:38 am

    Very Very nice information here… Thanks

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