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SpyWare Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
SpyWare Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: What is spyware?
A: Webopedia’s definition of Spyware is as follows: Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about your e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers. For a complete report visit http://www.virus.ca
Q: How does spyware get into my computer?
A. Spyware often arrives via an automatic download from a website you are surfing. If you download freeware or shareware software, spyware can be embedded in the installation process. Spyware can also download on to your computer through email attachments.
Q: What is a cookie?
A: They small files or are pieces of information that are placed in your web browser to track web habits. Cookies are often useful; because a web site can track that you have visited it before and let you enter the site without a registration process. Cookies are also used to keep track of your progress through a web store. They are also used to customize website ads to your likes and dislikes. Some cookies can be considered spyware.
Q: How do I know if my computer has spyware?
A: Typical symptoms of spyware include a slower computer than normal. If your computer suddenly starts to run really slow, when it never used to, then it may be infected with spyware. Spyware often hogs system resources including the memory and hard disk space, so your computer slows down. Another symptom is if you get popups on sites where you didn't get them before. To find out, do a Google search. If you get a pop up then you probably have adware or spyware – because Google does not have popups. Another symptom is when your web browser's homepage is hijacked when you go online. If your browser is suddenly redirected to a strange website, it’s most likely spyware.
Q. Why is spyware considered dangerous?
A. Spyware can compromise your privacy and provide others with information about you and your computer habits without your knowledge. Keylogger spyware can capture your keystrokes and send it to a third party. This could expose your user IDs and passwords to thieves. Other spyware include trojans which allow someone to log into your computer remotely and use it to send spam or launch malicious attacks on other computers on the
Internet, making it look like you are at fault.
Q: What is a “jacker” or a “switcher?”
A: These are slang terms for Hijackers, or applications that will change your browser home page, your default search engine and even redirect you away from websites you try to reach. Though the term hijacker sounds like one person is behind it all, today, there are many scams involving Browser hijackers, which are malicious programs.
These programs can also produce pop-up ads for pornography, add bookmarks to Internet Explorer's Favorites folder, and can even redirect users to porn websites when they mistype URLs.
Q: What’s the difference between Adware and Spyware?
A: Adware is an application that pops up advertisement banners or windows at random.
Adware can also be seen on your browser content in what is known as pop-ups. Spyware gathers information about your computing habits.
Q: I have a spyware remover program but I don’t think it has removed a specific spyware program on my computer. What should I do?
A. Just like your anti-virus program, you need to update the spyware signature files in your anti-spyware program so that it will catch new spyware programs. If you already have antispyware software, go into your spyware program and see if it has a method to update these files. Or you can install CyberDefender AntiSpyware 2006 for a free trial, and see what spyware your program is missing. Visit http://www.virus.ca/anti-spyware-download.asp
Q: Is there a way that I can delete spyware manually?
A. If a spyware program is very obvious, for example; if it adds itself to your menu bar and be found listed in your Add/Remove Programs list in the Windows Control Panel. Click START, then Control Panel, then Add/Remove Programs and look for a program that you don't recognize. Sometimes it is obvious....such as "XXX dialer." Simply use the Add/Remove Programs feature to remove it.
Q: How can I be sure that my computer never gets spyware?
A: There are many anti-spyware programs on the market today; however, CyberDefender AntiSpyware 2006 catches spyware the others miss. Plus, CyberDefender’s patented technology monitors your computer constantly, using patented early defense technology. Every PC on the CyberDefender network is on the lookout for suspicious files and reports them to Threat Central™ - http://www.virus.ca/anti-spyware-download.asp Lightning-quick updating ensures you are protected from new cyber-attacks faster than any other anti-spyware tool. AntiSpyware 2006 is compatible with all other major anti-spyware products.
Because CyberDefender AntiSpyware 2006 works with other spyware software, it’s easy to run a test, and let CyberDefender catch the spyware your other anti-spyware is missing. It’s like insurance and will provide an added layer of protection. Or if you do not already have a spyware program, install one of the free anti-spyware programs such as Microsoft's free anti-spyware program. Then run scans using each program. CyberDefender AntiSpyware 2006 will most likely catch more spyware.
Q: How does the CyberDefender Threat Central work?
A: Threat Central ranks threats from one to ten according to its Universal Severity Scale™ Threats rated above five are considered viruses while threats ranked below five are considered spyware or adware.
CyberDefender Universal Severity Scale
Category 7-10 Very High
Category 5-7 High
Category 3-5 Moderate
Category 1-3 Low
Viruses rated by CyberDefender’s Universal Severity Scale at seven to ten are considered Very High risk and very dangerous. Typically these viruses log user activity and present a high risk of data and system damage. These types of threats are difficult to contain and extremely difficult to remove. They often use unauthorized, invisible installation, and in addition to logging keyboard activity and taking system snapshots, these Very High risk viruses have the ability to disable anti-virus and anti-virus firewall programs, open communication ports, and send confidential user data to remote servers.
Q: How do I know CyberDefender Antispyware 2006 is working?
A: To verify whether your CyberDefender program is working please look at the bottom right hand side of your computer screen. In the icon tray you should find the CyberDefender icon which is a blue circle with the alphabet C inscribed inside it. If you do not find this in the icon tray look for it on the Desktop and double click on it to start the program. If you do not see it on the desktop or in the icon tray then you don’t have the program installed. Please proceed to www.cyberdefender.com to download and install the program.
Q. Is there anything I can do to stop spyware?
A. To protect your computer from spyware, don't download programs by companies you are not familiar with. Don't download illegal pirated software. Avoid shareware and freeware. Set your browser security to HIGH. Use CyberDefender’s Internet Security Toolbar by visiting http://www.virus.ca/anti-spyware-download.asp Its Safe Search feature will protect you when surfing the Internet. Last, on your Internet Explorer, click Tools > Internet Options > then the Security tab and move the slider to MEDIUM or preferably HIGH. But know that you may block access to some websites you want to see. Ultimately your best bet is to get an anti-spyware program and scan your system regularly.
About the Author: David A Clark http://www.virus.ca Take The CyberDefender Challenge. Download a FREE trial and see if you have spyware. Consistent feedback from users shows that CyberDefender AntiSpyware 2006 is finding spyware that the other programs are missing!