One of the new ways criminals are using the internet is by
spreading a spyware virus.
Spyware and adware are becoming commonplace on the internet, and
it is essential that all computer users take the necessary steps
to protect themselves from the damage they can do.
What is spyware anyway?
The term spyware virus actually covers a broad range of
different items. For instance, there are spyware viruses that
are relatively benign. These types of viruses may just record
the sites you visit and use that information to send you
advertisements or flood your browser with pop-up ads. While
these spyware viruses are incredibly annoying, and most users
would consider them an invasion of privacy, they are by no means
the most harmful of this group.
The more harmful spyware viruses are those that attempt to steal
your personal and private information, mostly financial
information, and use it for ill gotten means. Just about
everyone has heard the stories about the problems of identity
theft, and many cases of identity have originated with the
planting of a spyware virus on the victims computer. Unknown to
the computer user, the spyware sits on the PC, quietly
collecting sensitive private information like Social Security
numbers and account numbers.
A challenging and dangerous problem
Whilst this type of spyware is bad enough, there is a variant
that is potentially even more damaging. There are a growing
number of spyware viruses that are in effect key logger
programs. These programs exist to capture sensitive information
like passwords and account numbers, and with so many people
using online banking and investing it is easy to see how
damaging this kind of information could be. These spyware
viruses work by recording every keystroke a user makes on his or
her computer, then those keystrokes are sent on to a third
party, who uses them to steal valuable information.
The best protection against these kinds of spyware viruses is a
solid anti virus software program, together with a good anti
spyware program and spyware removal tool. More and more anti
virus programs are incorporating spyware detection and removal
into their products, but at the moment it is still better to
install several different products. Anti spyware programs like
Adaware, Spybot Search and Destroy and Spysweeper to an
excellent job at keeping spyware off your computer.
Of course the best way to keep those spyware viruses off your
computer is to run your anti virus software and spyware removal
programs every day.
The programs will then report back on problems they have found,
and give the user the option of what to do. After you have
determined that a particular program truly is a spyware virus,
you can remove it. Most anti spyware programs do a good job of
fully removing any spyware they find, but it never hurts to run
a second scan to make sure the spyware virus has been