Anti-spyware Or Spyware?

by : Kwan H Lo

Spyware is a hidden software program. It is often used to monitor the browsing and shopping habits of computer users. Spyware can also be a remote control program that steals confidential banking and personal information.

Spyware has quickly become the most prominent internet security problem. According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, spyware infects more than 90% of home PCs. Recent survey shows that spyware is also sneaking into the network of corporate computers.

Spyware is often coupled with free downloads, such as free music, game and software downloads. Spyware may slow down computer, hijack homepage and create uncontrolled pop-up advertisements. Some spyware programs can remain unnoticed, secretly gathering information from the computer. Once installed, spyware is difficult to remove without the help of dedicated anti-spyware software.

Due to the rise of spyware activity, anti-spyware programs are in great demand these days. But are these spyware removal tools the same? Do they provide the security consumers need?

There are many reports that some anti-spyware programs installed their own spyware and adware to the computer. One consumer was quoted saying: “It’s a rip-off. I downloaded the free trial of an anti-spyware program, only to find out that it added its own adware to my computer." Other consumers have complained that the anti-spyware program they use cannot detect all spyware programs. Some even slow down the computer and create pop-up advertisements.

There are a few good anti-spyware programs in the market today. On the other handFind Article, dozens of spyware removal programs are blacklisted by consumers. Beware of spyware removal tools that are heavily promoted by e-mail campaigns. Never run any free downloads and free scans from unknown software publishers. Their programs may as well be spyware programs themselves. Read independent product reviews from renowned computer magazines or reputable sources. Spending some extra time in research can save you a lot of hassles in the long run.