Internet Security – How To Avoid Being Infected With Spyware

Spyware and malware are more than just a pain in the neck – they can cause other programs to malfunction and even make your computer unusable and of course there’s all the privacy issues that go along with it.

This type of software is often installed without your consent and often can’t be uninstalled without special tools. When distributors use tricks and deception to install uninvited software, trust is destroyed.

The best defense against spyware is common sense. Always be watchful when you download software from the internet. Don’t install software from unknown websites that you don’t know if you can trust and be sure you always read through the license agreement. Sometimes the license will disclose that spyware is installed along with the program (although usually not in so many words) but they’re counting on the fact that hardly anyone ever reads the license anyway.

Before downloading any new software, look for guarantees that it’s spyware free. Even so, be aware – the file-sharing program Kazaa has been claiming to be spyware-free for years. Anyone who installs this software soon has an opportunity to test this claim.

How will you know if you’ve been infected by spyware? Some of the most common problems include unusual pop-up ads, a change to your homepage, new toolbars showing up in your browser and your computer acting strang, such as freezing up or rebooting out of the blue.

If you find your system bogged down with spyware, don’t give up hope. There are several utilities specifically designed for removing spyware from your computer. They rely on frequently updated databases which contain signature files of all known spyware and adware. They scan all the files on your hard drive and alert you if ‘uninvited guests’ are found.

Many are free, though sometimes the paid versions have more automation features such as removing spyware on receipt rather than requiring a manual scan. None will find every piece of spyware on your system, since they rely on a database which has to be populated according to someone’s judgment. And, one man’s spyware is sometimes another’s welcomed advertiser.

Some spyware is notoriously difficult to remove. They may make several alterations to your system settings and install files in different places. Often the only way to remove this type of spyware is to find the locations of all the files and manually delete them.

Obviously, this is something that you should only attempt if you are quite knowledgeable. You wouldn’t want to remove something that is critical for your computer to operate.

Once you’ve got rid of any spyware on your computer, you can help keep it clean by running a scan on a regular basis. Whether this is scheduled, or you do it manually is up to you.

And, of course, beware those free offers. You may get more than you bargained for.

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Category: Computer Spyware

Comments (4)

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  1. Doug Woodall says:

    Your comment, "one man’s spyware is sometimes another’s welcomed advertiser",
    is so true.
    Thats what makes it so easy for the malware writers to get their products installed.

  2. […] Internet Security – How To Avoid Being Infected With Spyware Spyware and malware are more than just a pain in the neck – they can cause other programs to malfunction and even make your computer unusable and of course there’s all the privacy issues that go along with it. This type of software is often installed without your consent and often can’t … […]

  3. Serwis says:

    Polecam zestaw Combofix, SDFix i Malwarebytes Anti-Malware. Powinny usunąć większość śmieci, resztę usuwamy oczywiście ręcznie. Pozdrawiam.

  4. […] Internet Security – How To Avoid Being Infected With Spyware …Spyware and malware are more than just a pain in the neck – they can cause other programs to malfunction and even make your computer unusable. […]

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