Monday, May 18, 2009

What are anti spyware softwares, do I need one if I have anti-virus software?

Spyware is a type of computer software that, as the name suggests, is used to ‘spy’ on you. The term ‘spy’ is an essential one because spyware is installed without your consent. You can contract spyware from a variety of sources such as spam emails, websites and downloads.
Even software that seems totally legitimate may contain spyware as part of the install process, so it’s not always obvious that you’re infected.

Spyware collects your personal information, often to target advertisements at you. For example, if you visit a lot of car websites, spyware might pop up with advertisements for new cars or car services, even if you aren’t already on a webpage.

Some of the more intrusive spyware will go a step further than simply watching you by changing your computer settings around or messing with your internet configuration. If you find your web browser home page has suddenly changed one day, there’s a very good chance you’ve been infected with spyware.

Zonealarm was pretty much the first company to use the term, and it’s been a little abused since. Unlike viruses and worms, spyware doesn’t replicate itself to transfer to other computers, making it slightly easier to control. However, some worms designed for commercial purposes are used to deploy spyware, so it can all get a little confusing.

There’s also another term – adware – which works in a similar way to spyware although with less malicious purposes, the key difference here is that users installing adware are fully aware of what they are doing. This is usually the case when users are installing software supported by advertisements. Similar effects to those used in spyware are likely to occur however, and it is recommended that you try to avoid ad-supported software as much as possible.

Removal of spyware is generally easier than removing viruses, although you still need a spyware removal program. These are available as either free or paid for services and can provide a varying level of quality and support. The best provide real time monitoring of spyware much like antivirus software does for virus infection.

What about anti virus software?
If you already have antivirus software, check with your software provider if the package supports spyware removal. Many don’t, but a few of the higher quality internet security suites incorporate both spyware and virus removal in the same program, saving money and system resources in the process.

Spyware is usually more annoying than it is threatening, but having a lot of it can lead to slowdowns to the point where your computer or internet connection is unusable, so protecting yourself from it is very important in the long term.

See Also
antivirus spyware removal
how to remove cipav spyware
malicious spyware removal
windows firewall security
remote virus scan

No comments:

Post a Comment