My Spyware Story

By: Alexander Kent

Did you know that 80% of computers connected to the internet are infected by spyware, adware, malware, trojans, keyloggers etc?

Think about it. Someone could be spying on your every movement on the internet, recording your credit card transactions or going through all the files on your computer.

While it is true that most spyware only seeks to monitor your internet activity with a view to targeting you with pop-ups and advertisements, the real risk is someone taking control of your computer, downloading your files then committing bank account or credit card fraud or worst case scenario, stealing your identity.

Some of the symptoms of spyware on your computer are:

Slow performance - your system loads and operates more slowly than usual.

Settings - your homepage, browser or security settings suddenly change.

Increased number of pop-ups or unsolicited advertisements.

System crash.

While I let all of that sink in, let me tell you my spyware story, how my computer became infected and what I did to remove the spyware and protect my system.

I always thought that I was well protected from intrusions - running active anti-virus, anti-spyware and firewall software on my computer. Nothing however was further from the truth. The other day without warning my whole system crashed!

My screen went blue, I kept getting a flashing message telling me that my computer had been infected with spyware and prompting me to go to a download site to obtain the latest anti-spyware software. Naturally I didn't do that. The first thing that I did was pull the plug on my internet connection, then run my anti-spyware software.

What happened next was really surprising. My software detected some 75 instances of spyware, adware, malware, trojans and keyloggers but it could not remove them. This happened in spite of me running a full spyware scan of my computer the day before.

What to do? I rang my local technician who had built my system:

"Restart your computer in 'safe mode' and run your anti-spyware software again". Still no good.

"What software are you using", I told him the name of a free anti-spyware program that I had downloaded from the internet, "Well that's your problem, you need to be using much better software" - what do you recommend, I asked, CounterSpy he replied, "I consider it to be the best and most powerful software available and it's what I would use to clean up your system if you bring it in".

You get what you pay for. Or in my case what I didn't pay for. I now know the downside of running free software, it just does not work as well. The other risk in using free software is that some unscrupulous operators have actually conned people into believing that they are downloading legitimate software when in fact what they are really getting is more spyware.

Don't make the same mistake that I did, thinking that the free software that you download from the internet will protect you, it won't. Sooner or later you will suffer, or maybe your system is already infected but you just don't know it.

So if you have a spyware problem, or more to the point, if you never want to have a spyware problem, spend a little money and get the best internet security software, it is very inexpensive insurance. I recommend you do it right away.

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