What is spyware and
how did it get on my PC?
Spyware is any technology
or programming on your computer that covertly gathers information;
the data is then sold to advertisers or to other interested parties. The
type of information harvested from your computer differs. Some
spyware tracks your system information only; such as your
type of Internet connection and type of operating system. Other
spyware collects personal information—such as detailed tracking
of your Internet surfing habits, or worse, harvesting of your personal
Spyware is installed without the user's consent (if you give consent for a company
to collect your data this is no longer considered spying, so read online data
disclosure statements carefully before consenting). Some people don’t
object to general spying that tracks Internet and software trends as long as
personal identifying information is not included; others object to any information
being taken from their computer without their consent. Either way, the
software or device that gathers the information is called spyware.
Spyware installation on your computer can be initiated by visiting a website,
viewing an e-mail message or by clicking a pop-up window. The download
process is unannounced so that you will remain unaware that your computer has
accepted spyware. This deceptive method of filling your computer with tracking
software you didn’t request is called a drive-by download. A simple
misspelling of a URL can send you off into a malicious site.
- Adware and spyware programs, also called malware or trackware,
quietly and secretly monitor everything you do online, and can
communicate your activities to a third party such as an online
- It is commonly installed on your PC as a hidden addition
to a legitimate program, by visiting websites, or through spam
- Unlike a virus, well-written spyware and adware program will
never reveal their presence on your PC.
- Pop-up ad problems, a different homepage that you can't change,
and a slower PC or online experience are indications of a spyware
- Spyware is everywhere: It infects over 75% of Internet-connected
computers., No one is immune from spyware infection. Studies
have found an average in excess of 25 spyware and adware traces
per audit scan with many times in the hundreds.
- Spyware can seriously disrupt your computer operations,
making your computer's performance and Internet access
slow to a crawl, and could lead to a corrupt hard drive.
- Spyware could compromise your privacy, and exposure of private
information, usernames and passwords, or, at its worst, identity
Spy Ware Vendor
Sweeper by Webroot Software (www.webroot.com)
Awarded Editors' Choice in PC Magazine,
Spy Sweeper detects and removes more traces of spyware than any
other program including; Trojans, adware, keyloggers and system
monitors. Regular updates provide timely protection against new
threats. Proactive shields monitor and defend against spyware
installations and a quarantine feature allows users to safely
manage spyware by removing or keeping it, without harming other
programs on the computer.
Other Spy Ware