Thursday, September 3, 2009

Protect Your Computer From Spyware

You wake up one morning and discover that while browsing the Internet the performance of your computer is very slow. Your home page is changing mysteriously on its own; excessive pop-ups on sites like Google, Yahoo and MSN, which do not use them. Your browser is automatically routed to advertisement sites.

All these are the symptoms of spyware infection. The question that immediately comes to your mind is, “What is a spyware?”

  • A spyware is any software that collects information about computer usage and the computer user. It is surreptitiously installed on one computer and sends information to another computer. Some spyware like the Whether Bug and Kazaa are knowingly downloaded and installed by users, but others are installed without the knowledge and permission of the user.

  • Unlike viruses and worms, spyware does not usually self-replicate. While a virus may disrupt the proper functioning of a computer, spyware tactics include delivering unsolicited pop-up ads, theft of personal information, monitoring Web-browsing activities for marketing purposes, and the routing of HTTP requests to advertisement sites.

  • Many spyware detection and elimination programs are easily available for free on the Internet, but be very careful of the ones you download and install on your computer, because some of them are Trojan. When installed, they become impotent and allow an embedded spyware to install itself on your computer.

  • One of the tools you may want to use to deal with spyware is Spybot Search and Destroy. It scans computers for spyware and harmful programs. It shows a list of problems areas to the user and allows him to delete any or all of them. It also allows the user to leave legitimate programs installed by him. These may include peer-to-peer file sharing software or software installed to monitor the on-line activities of children.

  • For a comprehensive solution to your spyware problems, it is advisable to get protection from companies like Norton and McAfee. They offer complete security programs consisting of anti-virus, personal firewall, anti-spam, privacy offerings and anti-spy ware.

Seek professional advice before downloading and installing any spyware program on your computer.

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