Cracking Down on Spyware

By: Adam Short


Do you know what your computer is doing while you are away? You may be amazed at all of the things that your computer can pick up on a daily basis. First came viruses, and that was a huge threat for many years. We heard about such infections as the Love Bug virus, Doomsday virus, and many more. Most of these could do serious damage to your system. Today, one of the biggest threats to your computer is spyware. What began as an advertising gimmick has begun to spiral out of control. Many companies have begun to abuse the technology.

The concept was simple; create a little program that allows marketersí access to their customers buying habits. Many major media houses began to get greedy and added more to their spyware programs. A typical spyware program today will continually update your habits and activities and send it back to the home base. While they donít take sensitive information like credit card numbers or bank accounts, they do prove to be a major threat to computer performance. Each spyware program uses your computer as a live server. Imagine the delays you would experience if you had ten or twenty of these programs at the same time. Your computer would slow down considerably!

So where do these spyware programs come from? You can get infected from a variety of sources. Some are downloaded to give you access to different features such as net searches, coupons, or tips online. Some are bundled with legitimate program downloads. Others are installed without your permission. It doesnít matter where they come from, because most computers will have spyware at one point or another.

The trick is to figure out how to get rid of it. There are many programs on the market today that can help with these pesky little programs. Many anti-spyware programs are bundled with virus protection for a total solution. Others can be purchased separately. There is also a wide assortment of free anti-spyware software that you can choose from as well. Some of these are actually spyware in disguise, so it is important to do your homework beforehand. If you are using a windows based system, Microsoft has come out with an anti-spyware program that is free for download via their website.

There are also many websites online designed to detect spyware programs. It takes only a few minutes to scan your system, and you can then take care of any problems that you come across.

Deciding to crack down on spyware is a personal decision. Some individuals could care less about them, while others find them to be a terrible nuisance. Your own thoughts and feelings will come into play when you decide your course of action. Some will scan their computer once a month to rid themselves of possible infections, while others will scan their systems daily for spyware infections. Whichever you choose, make sure to find a reputable program that will give you the best results possible. Good luck!

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Adam Short is freelance writer and creator of Adware Control, a site providing adware removal tips and information.

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