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Spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and send them to interested persons. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program. Most often this information is a record of a victimís ongoing browsing habits, downloads, or it could be more personal data like the victimís name and address Spyware is part of an overall public concern about privacy on the Internet
What is adware?
Spyware that serves personalized advertisements is called adware. It is also known as malware or scumware.
Malware is an abbreviation used to describe a "malicious software" program. Malware includes things like spyware or adware programs, such as tracking cookies, which are used to monitor a victimís surfing habits. It also includes more sinister items, such as keyloggers, Trojan horses, worms, and viruses. These are mainly used in cases of identity theft.
A keylogger is a program that logs every keystroke the victim makes and then sends that information, including things like passwords, bank account numbers, and credit card numbers to the person who is trying to spy that victim.
A Trojan horse is program that sends the personal information of from the victimís computer to another computer.
Viruses are similar to Trojan horses. The difference is viruses are attached to other programs whereas Trojan Horses are independent programs. Viruses are deliberately designed to interfere with computer operation, record, corrupt, or delete data, or spread themselves to other computers and throughout the Internet
Symptoms of Spyware infection
The victimís computer may show any of the following symptoms that are indicative of a spyware infection.
* Computer programs run very slowly
* Unwanted search engine handling the search
* Unwanted website opens while browsing for some other site
* Offline pop up ads
* Sites appearing repeatedly even after clicking the home button
How to tackle Spywares and adwares?
It is estimated that 90% of all computers on the Internet are infected with spyware.
Spywares can sometimes disrupt or damage the victimís computer. They may collect the personal information of the victim and his identity may be stolen. Anti viruses softwares are useful in safeguarding against these threats. But they should be regularly updated. But these anti virus softwares do not give protection against Trojan horses and spywares. In these instances the best thing to do is to use both an antivirus software and an anti adware software. Along with these firewall software should be installed to prevent personal identity theft.
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