If you know anything about spyware and the problems it can cause for the average computer user, youíve got a head start. But once you understand the dangers that spyware and adware programs pose to your computer and your personal information, what can you do to prevent it from interfering with your life?
The best thing anyone can do to adequately deal with spyware and adware is to be informed about the issue and proactive in dealing with it. For instance, knowing how to recognize a program as spyware, avoiding certain websites and guarding against malicious software from infesting your hard drive can take you a long way. When armed with the right knowledge you will be able to face the problem without so much worry and fear.
Nobody wants spyware tracking their every computer move, which is why individuals and companies that desire to do so are resorting to more underhanded and covert methods of spyware infection. And as the general computer user becomes more aware of the existence of spyware and adware, they have even more reason to use hidden tactics to achieve their objective and invade your privacy.
In the best case scenario spyware simply archives information related to your browsing habits while youíre online and sends it back to a company that uses the information for advertising research. This type of spyware is commonly referred to as adware. It is not the most harmful form of spyware but can be a nuisance to eliminate and slows down even the fastest of computers.
In the worst case scenario, a keylogging program is installed on your personal computer to collect private information you donít want falling into the wrong hands Ė passwords, online banking information, and anything else that you might type into your computer during the normal course of a day. This type of spyware can also track other aspects of computer usage including applications used, instant messenger conversations, hidden windows and mouse clicks.
These programs can infect your computer when you download free programs, so one effective way to avoid spyware is by keeping your system clear of excess junk. If you really donít need that free fishbowl screensaver, restrain yourself and stick with the ones you already have. Or opt for a high-quality screensaver that costs a little money but will save you a whole lot of frustration. In addition, staying away from freeware sites altogether is recommended because even if you donít download anything, many sites attach a cookie to your browser after you visit the website that will be used to track your movements online. Avoid questionable websites and youíll avoid this type of spyware.
Refrain from downloading files from other sources as well. For example, a spyware program can be downloaded through an e-greeting, email, by clicking on a pop-up, or through other sources. To avoid getting infected through a pop-up ad, do not click anywhere on the pop-up window. Instead, click the ďXĒ located in the top right hand corner of the window to close the pop-up entirely. If there is no way to close the window, disconnect from the Internet and close your browser.
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