Anti-Spyware and Pro Security

By: Reggie Andersen

As you innocently type away at your computer or surf the Internet, you never know when you will face one of the many threats lurking in the shadows of the World Wide Web. In recent years, there are plenty of types of software that threaten the safety and integrity of a desktop or laptop. Today, the list of clever and tricky ways that spyware, adware, and malware become attached to a computer is becoming increasingly commonplace, prompting consumers to take extra precautions against an attack.

Hidden Downloads

One of the most common ways that spyware infiltrates a computer is through a "free" application download, such as peer-to-peer file sharing programs like Kazaa. When downloading and installing this type of program, an assortment of spyware programs is automatically included, which is one of the ways the company is able to keep their services free to the public.

Some downloads are unauthorized and may simply initiate because you have visited a particular website by accident or under false pretenses that forces the download of malicious software. You may also become tricked into downloading spyware without your knowledge if you should answer dialog boxes that request you to click "yes" or "no." When these boxes appear, you should cancel out of the action by clicking on the "x" in the corner of the box. As a rule of thumb, you shouldn’t authorize the download of any software onto your computer if it does not come from a reputable source.

There are also certain websites that take advantage of popular subjects on the Internet. While a user is surfing their website, they may happen upon placed links that will install adware onto a computer or possibly flood a computer with embarrassing and annoying information and solicitations on point of contact. This is a common technique used on sites that promote pornography, gambling, and music downloads.

Toolbars

Sometimes, spyware is attached to a download that comes in the form of a toolbar. At one time, you may or may not have authorized its receipt, but often when a newly installed toolbar appears, it is a sign you have spyware on your computer. If you are faced with a decision to download a new toolbar, your best bet is to cancel the action or deny permission.

Pop-Ups

A common method of advertisement in the Internet world includes the use of pop-ups, which automatically load and appear on a computer screen. While some are meant to display marketing information, others are created with the intent to get a user to click on a link that will download adware or spyware without their knowledge. This is why many computer users turn to pop-up blockers to significantly reduce or eliminate the appearance of malicious pop-ups.

Corrupted Emails and Attachments

Some people infuse emails and attachments with malicious software that downloads and installs itself onto a computer because opening such items initiate the act. A common way to thwart this kind of attack is to install software that protects against this type of software, as well as to make it a habit not to open emails from people you are unfamiliar with.

The Importance of Removing Malicious Software

Not only does spyware, adware, and malware make a computer run slower than usual, but also comprises the files, applications, and personal information stored on the PC. Malicious software has the ability to permit outside intruders to gain access into the insides of your private life by providing a gateway to important data. Regardless of the type of spyware installed onto a computer, the user's privacy is violated because their computer use, habits, and personal information can be tracked.

It is through spyware and other similar software that credit card numbers, bank statements, financial records, usernames and passwords, and other vital details become compromised. Today, the latest technology and methods allow strangers to enter a computer and retrieved all of the necessary data required to execute identity fraud and theft, which is why it is quite important to remove malicious software at once.

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