How Spyware Affect The Use Of Computer


What is spyware?

Spyware programs (also called malware, scumware, and adware) are software programs that install themselves and run on your computer without your knowledge or consent. Typically, spyware gathers information about you by monitoring your computing activities and then transmits this information across the Internet for advertising purposes. Spyware can also download files, run programs in the background, and change your system settings. In addition to violating your privacy and potentially damaging your system, spyware can slow your computer down by stealing processing time from the CPU.

Why is it called “Spyware”?

While this may be a great concept, the downside is that the advertising companies also install additional tracking software on your system. While according to the privacy policies of the companies, there will be no sensitive or identifying data collected from your system and you shall remain anonymous, it still remains the fact, that you have a "live" server sitting on your PC that is sending information about you and your surfing habits to a remote location.

Why is Spyware Dangerous?

Some programs are simply designed to gather marketing information in order to be used by a company, or to cause targeted
advertisements to show up while a user is browsing. However, there are some types of adware which may collect personal information, making you vulnerable to identity and/or credit card fraud. In addition to this, some spyware programs may cause your computer to crash or freeze on a regular basis.

How do you get spyware?

There are many methods that spyware may use to infiltrate your computer. Some of the most common methods include:
Freeware Programs In some cases, the development of many “free”
programs is funded by an agreement to bundle an adware program in the install package. You may see an option during the install of your freeware program.

Internet Browser Toolbars Many adware programs are designed to take the form of a toolbar that installs directly into your internet browser. These toolbars may provide customized search options, website suggestions or other services. It should be noted that the toolbar is able to provide these services because they are monitoring your browsing history and other information. Though not all toolbar adware programs are dangerous, you should still avoid them if you do not wish your browsing history to be tracked by the

Webpages It’s possible for adware to be directly embedded into the code of a specific webpage. Some scripting languages may infiltrate vulnerabilities of your computer, installing directly by using your internet browser.

Email Attachments Some email attachments may contain adware or even computer viruses. Once you open the attachment, the malicious program is installed onto your computer. This may be in the form of a funny movie, a cute picture or other message that will be frequently forwarded through a person’s
email contacts.

How can I Protect My Computer Against Spyware?

There are many methods that you may use to protect your computer from being infiltrated by spyware/adware programs. This includes:

1. Using a Secure Internet Browser

2. Installing Anti-Spyware Software

3. Only Opening Trusted Email Attachments

4. Installing a Virus/Spyware Scanner with Real-Time Monitoring

5. Using Common Sense When Browsing

Different types of Spyware

ParasiteWare ParasiteWare is the term for any Adware that by default overwrites certain affiliate tracking links. These tracking links are used by webmasters to sell products and to help fund websites. The controversy is centered on companies like WhenU, eBates, and Top Moxie, a popular maker of Adware applications. These companies have release their software to assist users in getting credit for rebates, cash back shopping, or contributions to funds. To the end user ParasiteWare represents little in the way of a security threat. Adware Adware, also known as an Adbot, can do a number of things from profile your online surfing and spending habits to popping up annoying ad windows as you surf. AdWare can be obnoxious in that it performs "drive-by downloads". Drive-by downloads are accomplished by providing a misleading dialogue box or other methods of stealth installation. Many times users have no idea they have installed the application. Often Adware makers make their application difficult to uninstall. Spyware Spyware is potentially more dangerous beast than Adware because it can record your keystrokes, history, passwords, and other confidential and private information. Spyware covertly gathers user information and activity without the user's knowledge. Spy software can record your keystrokes as you type them, passwords, credit card numbers, sensitive information, where you surf, chat logs, and can even take random screenshots of your activity. Basically whatever you do on the computer is completely viewable by the spy. You do not have to be connected to the Internet to be spied upon.Malware Malware is slang for malicious software. Malware is software designed specifically to disrupt a computer system. A trojan horse , worm or a virus could be classified as Malware. Some advertising software can be malicious in that it can try to re-install itself after
you remove it.Malware is software specifically engineered to damage your machine or interrupt the normal computing environment.

Examples of Malware include:

Page Hijackers

Hijackers are applications that attempt to usurp control of the user's home page and reset it with one of the hijackers choosing. They are a low security threat, but obnoxious. Most Hijackers use stealth
techniques or trick dialogue boxes to perform installation. Dialers A dialer is a type of software used by pornographic vendors. Once dialer software is downloaded the user is disconnected from their
modem's usual Internet service provider and another phone number and the user is billed. While dialers do not spy on users they are malevolent in nature because they can cause huge financial harm to the victim.