The Internet is a vast resource of information and users all over the world are able to download whatever programs they see fit onto their computer. Unfortunately, having an open connection to the world also can be dangerous in today’s online environment, particularly when you look at the rise of adware & spyware applications that can be downloaded onto your computer without you even knowing it.
You may have heard about spyware and adware from some of the tech geeks at work, but what does it actually mean to you? Surely, these kind of things only affect business computers and servers, right? Wrong. Spyware and adware can be downloaded onto any computer, regardless of whether you’re at work or surfing the web at home. It doesn’t even sometimes come from what you would think would be the most likely candidates: porn sites, gambling sites & other illegal material. The unfortunate part is that sometimes companies that we think to be reputable can actually be using spyware as well to track your every move.
Spyware and adware do not work like a typical virus. Normally they are not as malicious, but they can be just as annoying and incredibly difficult to get rid of. They usually end up appearing on your web browser as a new toolbar up on top, and/or triggering random pop-up ads at certain times. What’s happening is these programs are being downloaded and keeping track of your information: the web sites you’ve been to, your search history in Google, Yahoo or another search engine….possibly even your passwords. They’re also doing things that use up your computer’s valuable resources or hijacking your homepage and switching it to some random search site automatically.
You can quickly see what a nuisance this can be, particularly if you end up having a lot of these programs downloaded to your computer. Such applications, when triggered almost simultaneously, can cause you serious problems and a lot of time and effort in repair after the fact. Fortunately, however, there are many spyware removers and anti spyware programs that are available to you that you can download; some even have free trial versions. Nine times out of ten, they are very simple to use and can root out files and cookies on your computer that are associated with spyware.
That said, once you download one of these applications, you must be vigilant and remember to use the program on at least a weekly basis in order to avoid further outbreaks. It helps to download a spyware remover program that also contains an adware shield of some sort that is running in the background and blocks the download of a new piece of spyware before it occurs.
Also, be sure to always know what kind of a link you’re clicking before you click on it, even if it is from someone you think you know. Usually, spam e-mails contain “click here” links that will download some piece of spyware, but your friend might send you a link on AIM or something without even knowing that it is a link to download spyware. These incidents are more common than you might think. Again, a spyware remover program that runs in the background can be of great help here.
If you know how to protect your computer from spyware before it gets downloaded, then you’ll be much better off, and you’ll be able to surf the web freely and safely without having to call up the PC tech place down the street to fix your computer for outrageous fees.