Spyware is a program developed by hackers so that they are used to

Spyware is a program developed by hackers so that they are used to
Spyware is a program developed by hackers so that they are used to extract personal
information (for example, passwords, IP address, and credit card number), post
advertisements on your PC without your approval and to do other harmful actions.
Spyware gets installed on your machine without you being conscious about it when you
visit particular web sites.
Spyware can be harmful in the following ways:
Loss of privacy
Spyware collects personal information and send it back to its creator/developer.
Sensitive and personal information like credit card number, name of contacts in
Outlook Address Book, passwords stored in your hard disk, IP address, Operating
System (Windows XP, Linux) installed, List of web pages visited, can no longer
be private and secure if Spyware have infected your PC. Normally the hackers
use this information for their own personal benefits that can be fatal for the
victim. (Imagine your bank balance disrupted after shopping online).
Unwanted changes
Spyware can change your Web browser's home page or search page, or add
additional components to your browser you don't need or want. These programs
also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you
originally had them. (For example unwanted menus can be attached to your
browser toolbar and all options to remove them are disabled.)
Computer becomes slow
Any type of software needs some memory (RAM) and CPU time in order to keep
it running. Spyware is normally programmed in such a way so that it is
automatically loaded once your operating system starts. It then runs in the
background. Thus, the Spyware affects your PC speed and makes it slower than
its regular speed.
Web pages take unusually more time to load
After a Spyware is installed in your machine, it interacts regularly with its source
(the hacker’s machine) when your PC is connected to the net. It uses most of the
bandwidth and even pages like Yahoo, Google which normally take a few
seconds to load, take a lot of time to be accessed. Thus you have to stay connected
for longer periods on the net for simple tasks and hence spend more on the cost.
Pop-ups (Ad Windows that appear on your screen whenever you are connected to
the net or visiting particular web pages) are one of the most irritating symptoms of
Spyware. Such Spyware infect your computer for the sole purpose of commercial
ads. Once connected to the net, the Spyware becomes active and small windows
(at times in huge numbers) start appearing on your screen. They basically contain
attractive offers and links to other web pages where the offer is available.
Security programs do not function properly
Nowadays most people use Antivirus, Anti-Spyware and Firewalls to keep
intruders at bay. But unfortunately not all of these security programs are up to the
mark or people do not bother to update their virus definitions. This allows
Spyware to modify the security software so that the real time protection is turned
off or to delete certain critical components of the software. Hence, you Antivirus,
Anti-Spyware, and Firewall can no longer protect your Pc from hackers and
Use up to date and reliable Security Software all the time.
Firewalls and Anti-Spyware can prevent hackers from getting into your
computer and installing Spyware to get your information. A firewall can help
block viruses and worms from getting into your computer. It will cause the system
to ask for permission to block or not block connection requests. You can then
decide whether accept or not. Anti-Spyware can be used to scan your Pc for
malicious programs and if any threat detected, it will be removed. The security
software should be regularly updated and trustworthy. For example, “Zone
Alarm” is a very popular Firewall and it is free. “Windows defender” and
“Spybot” are good examples of Anti-Spyware.
Adjust Internet Explorer security settings accordingly.
Go to the “Tools” menu of your Browser and then click on “Options”. Then go to
the “Security” section and adjust the security level.
This will allow you to decide the level of information you are willing to take from
a web site. If the website is known and trusted, the security level can be adjusted
to “medium” else if there is potential threat from a website that you do not trust or
you are visiting for the first time, adjust the security level to “high”.
Surf and download more safely
Be sure you always know and trust the sites you are downloading from. Even the
most seemingly harmless downloads can contain Spyware. Sometimes Free
Wallpapers and Screen savers come with a series of Spyware, so after all
downloads, be sure to scan them with a good Anti-Spyware.
™ Do not accept any free download from web sites that you do not trust
™ Never give out your private information like PC IP address, PC Name,
Operating System to strangers. Else you may become an easy target for the
™ Never ever disable your real time protection provided by anti Spyware and
firewall if asked to do so while downloading from an unsafe site. Sometimes,
hackers fool people by displaying messages like “Please disable your firewall
settings to proceed with your free download”. The moment you agree, it’s just too
late because the Spyware is already in your system. Spyware may take just a few
seconds to infect a PC.
™ Do not accept any free download from web sites that you don not trust.
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