Saturday, June 09, 2007

Attack of the Spyware

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What exactly is spyware?

Defined by wikipedia:
Spyware is computer software that collects personal information about users without their informed consent. The term Spyware, which was coined in 1995 but wasn't widely used for another five years, is often used interchangeably with adware and malware.

Purposes range from overtly criminal (theft of passwords and financial details) to the merely annoying (recording Internet search history for targeted advertising). In any case, these programs still use the resources of the host computer without permission.

Probably my worst(and only) bad experience with spyware was when i first got broadband. After upgrading from a dialup, it was natural to start downloading stuff like crazy given then faster connection and much larger bandwidth. Being an avid gamer, i was downloading any and every free game i found online just to try them out. I guess when you just download stuff from any random site, you are definitely inviting trouble. After sometime, my computer performance naturally went downhill. Actually it went way downhill. I did stuff like defrag or scan for viruses with my anti virus but nothing worked. Only after doing some research and asking around, I learnt about spywares. So I just grabbed the first anti spyware program i could find and it scanned about 1000+ spyware... that is quite a large amount. It took quite a while to delete them but eventually, I cleaned up my system. That taught me a lesson. Aside from using anti virus, i needed anti spyware program too. One such program is Spy Sweeper. It has several good features (aside from just scanning and removing):
  • It provides a spyware shield, preventing spyware from even installing
  • It accesses the threat level of each spyware
  • Constantly updated
So get anti-spyware programs like Spy Sweeper and do regular checks.


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