The computer world is full of threats. In the past, these threats typically consist of spam, viruses and worms, but a new threat is here to stay, killer spyware and adware! Spyware is defined as software that transmits your confidential information to a third party without asking you for permission. In addition to the obvious violation of your privacy by submitting your web browsing history, spyware companies can also use these private information to send you spam. Even worse spyware software sometimes collects very sensitive information such as your username and passwords! Adware, another new threat to the online community, displays advertisements on your computer typically in exchange for so-called "free" software. These advertisements can even inexplicably pop-up on your computer display when you're not using your computer!
Typically killer spyware and adware use two techniques to infiltrate your computer. The most common method of getting spyware and adware installed is to trick you into installing it yourself! Yes, that's right, if you think you have a spyware problem, more than likely your the cause of the problem. Links to spyware can very deceive and the author has fallen victim himself. However, identifying the techniques used by the spyware makers will help you to minimize spyware infections. One common method of spyware intrusion is opening a pop-up windows with a cancel button. When you inadvertently click the cancel button, low and behold spyware has been installed! Even trickier, the pop-up window might have a fake windows title bar which installs the killer software when you try to click the fake X to close the window. Tip # 1, always use a good pop-up blocker! As you can see, spyware makers are very tricky and they're out to find every technique they can get their software on your computer, so be weary of any pop-up window and always look at file sizes when downloading. If the file looks too small to be what it claims to be, then it is more than likely spyware or even worse a virus. One sure sign that your computer is infected with spyware or adware is when your browser settings get hijacked. Typically, spyware and adware will change your default home page or search engine, so if you see your homepage change without your intervention you're computer has more than probably been infected.
Free Software = Adware
Adware manufactures typically use supposedly completely free software to infiltrate your computer system. However, when you install the free software, it will tell you that the free software will also install other direct programs in their terms and conditions, which of course you agree to without reading! File sharing software is notorious for both killer spyware and adware, so be warned! Sometimes it is best is pay for good software because you really get what you pay for. It is the author's opinion that most "free" software now talks consists of some form of spyware, adware or spamming technique. It's really worth the money to pay for decent software when you need it. If you think you're really found completely free software without the inclusion of adware, do a quick search for the program title and the keywords adware or spyware. If your search comes up empty, you just might have found a diamond in the rough.
Spyware and Adware Signs
Killer spyware and adware is most often noticed when your computer slows down or your computer crashes unexpectedly. Instability problems or a hijacked web browser are sure signs that you have a major spyware or adware problem. Do not let unscrupulous individuals control your computer or view your browsing history, install a good spyware / adware removal tool today.