The Postman Doesnt Always Ring

by : Carl Formby

Most people think that they know exactly what is on the computer, believing that what is on there is just what they put on there, all the various software packages and bits and pieces that go to make using a computer such a pleasurable experience. And even those people who know about such things as viruses, who know that there can be elements on your computer that are unwanted and know how to get rid of them can sometimes be ignorant of the fact that there can be things on there that you have no knowledge about in the slightest.

The reason that this can be such a problem is that when you have a virus there is usually some indication that you have been infected, usually a slow down in your computer's performance which acts as a red light to the possibility that something is amiss. However, the are types of computer infection which do not slow your computers performance down sometimes, but which can be even more dangerous than a virus. These types of computer infections are commonly known as adware and spyware, and they can be more dangerous than a virus for several very good reasons.

The first reason is mentioned above, and that is that these can be on your computer without giving any indication that they are there at all, which means they can reside on your hard disk sometimes for months with you not having a clue that there is anything wrong. If the adware or spyware is fairly benign all that it may be doing is sending back information to a server, giving details of your surfing habits in order that an organization may collect data about the type of websites or advertising that may suit certain types of surfer.

However, adware is not usually so innocuous, and some types of adware and spyware really are malware in the truest sense, in that they can sometimes collect personal details of the person surfing the web, and this can include such things as credit card numbers and passwords which may be used to access a bank account. As you can imagine this is the last thing that anyone wants, and it is therefore essential that you make sure you have a good anti-spyware and anti-adware program on your computer to make sure your personal details on the stone.

Luckily, many commercial antivirus software packages also have an adware component as part of the standard package, but it is always worth checking that this is so, because you might think that you're protected when actually you're not protected at all. Take a look at what kind of virus protection you have on your computer, and make sure that protection against adware and spyware is on there. The last thing you want to do is hand over all your passwords to someone without even knowing it.