The Many Hidden Dangers of Spyware
Spyware is used to describe programs that monitor internet activity. Spyware is a major problem that internet-users face today – unknowing web surfers are literally being spied on through these hidden software programs. Their every move is being secretly monitored so that it can be turned into a tool for manipulative advertising. The problem is that these spyware programs are so discrete that individuals without much internet savvy are easy targets, and their computers can be quickly infected and invaded by these merciless virtual predators.
There are several types of spyware, and it is important to note that some spyware programs are much more destructive than others. The unifying thread between every type of spyware is that they all seek to retrieve information without a user’s knowledge or consent. Forms of spyware are Trojans (usually a name that refers to protection, but now it is being used as a tool for deception), Web Bugs, Advertiser software (adware), and Stand-Alone Commercial Computer Monitoring/ Surveillance software. Web Bugs are ActiveX controls or cookies used to monitor your website activity so that banner ads can be displayed based on the information that they steal from you.
Reliable Adware and Spyware Protection is Vital
Adware (also known as adbot), one of the most infuriatingly annoying spyware culprits, uses a range of disturbing spy techniques, such as tracking your spending habits so that they can relentlessly bombard you with pop-up ads. Think of it like this: imagine if your grocery store hired covert spies to track your every purchase and step so that they could customize the checkout aisle with items that they feel you might buy on impulse based on your habits – actually, instead of just placing the products at the check-out, there would be employees throwing them in your face every time you tried to make a step towards the exit. Your grocery store would never get away with it, so why should the internet?
Spyware is basically like a virtual stalker – it is capable of truly tracking your every move on your computer, which most people will agree is an intolerable invasion of personal privacy. They can attack a computer so fiercely that it essentially becomes impossible to even use the internet at all without being assaulted by an onslaught of never-ending popup ads – people have to spend so much time trying to feverishly close out all the pop-ups that it isn’t even worth trying to get online at all. While there is much debate over the legality of such invasive programs, spyware continues to be an aggressive threat that is gaining momentum by the day.
In order to protect yourself and your computer, you have to be cautious and informed. First of all, don’t be an easy target – always read the End User License Agreements before installing any programs on your computer – spyware is often embedded in with other seemingly unrelated programs. Secondly, arm your computer with reputable spyware blockers, and if your computer is hit by spyware or adware programs, run a spyware scan and removal program from a reliable, trusted anti-spyware company.