Information Security – Spyware | Protect Yourself

 What the Heck is Spyware, Anyway?  Is your computer slow?  Trouble Connecting?  Taking forever to load certain pages?  (like mine)  🙂

Spyware is computer software that is installed on your computer to intercept and record your activity without your knowledge.  These programs can collect various types of personal information, and can even control your Web-browsing experience by directing you to certain sites without your intent.  While it is often used for advertising purposes, Spyware  has also been exploited as a vehicle for privacy theft, such as the pilfering of credit card numbers, bank account credentials, and the like. 

Most Spyware is installed by piggybacking on other applications that often appear useful, such as Weatherbug or Kazaa. Machines infected with Spyware often have degradation in performance, difficulties when connecting to the Internet, accelerated CPU activity, and stability issues. 

My machines are protected from Spyware by automated blocking and filtering systems in place. While spyware is not always malicious in nature, you may also wish to avoid it on your personally owned PCs. There are many products available, generically called "anti-spyware" software, that will remove this code from your machine (two good, free products for your personal use are SpyBot and Ad-Aware). Similar to running an anti-virus scan, you simply run the program periodically to check and clean your system of any unwanted programs. As with everything in life, with increased ability comes increased responsibility.

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