Spyware, This Time Its Personal!
First the basic definition of Spyware: It is a type of software which is installed onto your computer without your permission... It can log your keystrokes, which websites you visit, read you email, and even prowl your hard drives. At some point in time, it transmits its harvested information to the owner. Transmitting this data can slow your computers resources which can result in programs taking longer to load, make for longer waits for WebPages to load, and even complete system failures can occur.
A different type of Spyware called Adware can be included in a download. You didn't notice it was included in the download when you read the user agreement since you might have given up on reading the user agreement after 2000 or 3000 words into it. That's what they wanted you to do! Or maybe, shame shame, you didn't even read it!
Webroot recently finished a survey that concluded the average home computer has 28 pieces of Spyware on it. I recently stumbled across an admiringly clever piece of Spyware that recorded both sides of Instant Messaging Programs!
Just the other night I read that some unsuspecting Stock Investors found their accounts empty one morning.... they had downloaded a Beta Stock Tweaking Tool that had a keylogger on it.
Oh, let's not forget the Website you are at when a 'Pop Up' states you need a 'Plug In' to view something special there. If you don't have your Java or your Virtual Basic updates, you could be providing all the information on your computer to a very interested third party. Pop Ups can be very deceiving. Do you quickly close out a Pop Up or click the No button? What if the code that runs it is set up to run no matter what option you pick?
So there you are, a victim of Spyware. You've been used! You want revenge! You shout, "If only I could invent the perfect Anti-Spyware Tool!" Well maybe you shout something else, I know I have.
Would this perfect Anti-Spyware Tool tell you when visit a Website that has Spyware? Would it prevent Spyware from transmitting your information that it has collected? Would it even prevent Spyware form becoming active? Would it make Coffee too?
Ah if only it could be.
You have to safeguard your personal information when you are online.
It's been said by a few that one way to curb the spread of Spyware is to allow it to collect certain types on information from you. Information you agree to. In turn, for collecting this information, you are compensated in some way. There are Websites and programs out there that do this in some way or form. You accrue points or whatever that you redeem for cash or a blender or whatever. Regardless of how its done, it might be a way to reduce the anxiety of wondering if your personal information is being harvested and even worse, what they are using it for.
About the Author:
Doug Woodall has a website at http://www.spywarebiz.com
There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware.
He is a member of the IWA (International Webmasters Association)
Doug can be reached at email@example.com
Article edited for proper content by Wendy McCallum
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