Monday, July 6, 2009

Detect and Prevent Spyware Infection

"Spyware is a term for Tracking Software deployed without sufficient notice, consent, or control for the user."

Spyware programs are installed into your PC without your information, in order to show you unnecessary

advertisements. They can trace your personal data and browsing trends for showing better targeted ads. Unlike

viruses or Trojans, spyware may not damage your software or OS. They can, however, slow down your system a lot.

How Do Spyware Infect A System?

Facetime Communications, an online security company, estimates that almost 80 per cent of the world's computers

are affected by spyware. Spyware installation can happen through various means. Most of them rely on the security

loopholes in the host system. Here are some of the tactics by which they infect a system:

1. Automatically: Some spyware, such as Claria Corporation's tiny program called Gator, get installed without any

notification. This happens when you visit a web page infected by the spyware. Only if you have set your browser

security to the high level, you will get a notification of this installation.

2. By Tricking Users: Some spyware trick users with a message stating that the system is infected by viruses and

Trojans, with a button to start scanning. If you click this button, it will spark a spyware installation instead.

3. As Browser Add-ons: Sometimes, spyware applications are installed as browser's add-ons. Installing unverified

toolbars, buttons, or other functionalities to your browser may cause this. Therefore, it is recommended that you

install add-ons only from the browser's official website, which contains verified components only.

4. With Software Packages: Sometimes spyware programs are bundled with the installation packages of other

software. This is the case with many Peer-to-Peer file sharing applications. The issue here is that if you remove

the specific piece of spyware, the original application may not run properly. So, many people see it as an

unavoidable risk.

5. Through Unknown E-mails: Viewing and clicking links on emails from unknown senders may not always be safe. Some

of these links may be already infected by a piece of spyware looking to expand its presence.

See also
remove spyware
top ten spyware
Spyware removal: clean up your act
Top 7 Steps to Remove Spyware

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