Saturday, January 19, 2008

Spyware Removal

To understand why you want to remove spyware, it is important to know exactly what spyware is and what is does. Spyware is a small program that is uploaded to your computer through contact with a website. This code was originally designed to track visitors to a particular site and find out were else they went. This information was used by the website to tailor the advertising on their site to match the type of places their customers were already going. The program has had many changes over the years since its creation, the first of which was adware. Meaning that the program was used to place ads on your computer. This is when the program started top change into something that was more dangerous to your computer. There were some adware that was minor and you would notice them on occasion but there were some that were far more noticeable. These would place so many ads on your computer that your computer would freeze up and crash. The next evolution in the spyware program came when it started being used to transport Trojan Horse viruses. This is when a virus is placed inside a spyware program allowing it to enter your system undetected by your anti-virus program. This could cause a great deal of damage to your computer very quickly. The final evolution to the spyware program has come with the rise of identity theft. The personal information on your computer is the most valuable thing you have on it. The spyware will gather all your username/password combinations and well as other important account information. Then it will return this information to the person that placed the spyware there to start with. This places your entire life at risk and not just your computer, so you can see why spyware removal is very important. To find out if you have any spyware on your system you can look for system slow down but if you wait till than you will have waited way too long. Other ways of detecting spyware is by watching the harddrive light for unusual activity when you think it should not have activity. There is also the ‘task manager’ on Windows XP that will identify all the running processes on your computer. You will need to research each of these by going to Google to determine if they are rouge processes or not. The best thing you can do if you spend any amount of time online is to have a regular scheduled time to run your spyware removal software. Spyware is so common these days that it is safe to assume that it is there and you need to remove it. Depending on the amount of sensitive information you have on your computer and the amount of sensitive work you do on your computer will determine the schedule. Some will do it after each web session and for some once a week is good enough. That is up to you but you need to be consistent in doing it. Van Whitsett has published a number of articles, both online and off. For more info on this topic, go to Spyware Removal

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