What is Spyware?
A general term for a computer program that gathers data and reports the findings back to an advertiser or internet marketing firm. Spyware is a way for freeware software authors to make money from the software, rather than selling it to the users for a fee.
Spyware is often bundled with file sharing applications for the past 3 years and continue to be included in most freeware p2p applications. However there is a growing list of file sharing companies who boast no Spyware in their software.
How does Spyware make its way to my computer?
1. Spyware programs can be secretly installed when installing freeware programs. Freeware programs are computer programs that cost nothing to use, but earn revenue bundling Spyware into programs. Almost like a commercial for TV.
2. When installing a computer program on your computer, it is important to pay attention to the options presented when installing. Many times people click “Next, Next, Next” and bypass additional software includes, one of the ways Spyware finds a home on your computer.
3. Websites can run scripts that install browser Spyware or cookies to track web statistics.
What is Adware?
Software that collects data and delivers targeted advertising to the end user. The most common found Adware delivers pop up advertising to users of a computer. Have you ever been on your computer and suddenly a message pop ups on to your screen? If so, you most likely have some form of Adware installed on your computer.
Aside from downloading and installing programs at your volition, the Web is filled with all different sorts of booby traps for you fall into. For example have you ever typed in a URL that didn’t exist, and instead of getting the classic 404 message that the server was not found, you were redirected to a search page that you never intended to come across. Well, you have just been hijacked.
What’s known as a “Browser Hijacker” modifies the settings in your web browser, to either change your homepage to that company’s homepage, or a different search page that would most likely bypass the search itself, and redirect you to a paysite. There is nothing justifiable in using this method. How dare they mess with your computer settings without your consent? That’s why it’s called hijacking. iGetNet, ILookUp, and LoadFonts are three known browser hijackers.
An absolute crime!!! You sometimes find these sitting on your desktop after you close your web browser. Curious to find out what it may be, you open up the program and it makes an attempt to dial your modem. It’s usually either an expensive 1-900 number or an international call with which you’ll be paying through the nose. After you delete this travesty of a program from your desktop, much to your dismay, you find that the dialer was planted in several locations on your hard drive. What a dirty trick! Among the dials are names like BillByCall, DialerFactory, and HotActionDating.
These can just simply be defined as programs that you did not ask for, and when executed, does things that you would just never want done to your computer. Here are some excerpts taken from spywareguide.com that go into detailed description of the atrocities performed by Malware:
First reported as suspicious, it became clear soon that it will pass the ZoneAlarm firewall without user consent. When it tries to connect to the Internet and ZoneAlarm displays its dialog whether the program should be allowed to connect or not, ClientMan will auto-click the 'Yes' button after checking the 'Always' checkbox. This way, it grants itself Internet Access without the user even noticing more than a short flash of the ZA dialog.
• Stays resident in background
• Stealth: hides itself from user
• Makes changes to browser settings
• Connects to the internet by itself
Spyware / Adware Removal
Using a program called Ad-aware, you can delete most of the commonly used Spyware programs from your computer.
What is Ad-aware?
Ad-Aware is a tool that scans your computers memory, registry, hard, removable and optical drives for known data-mining, aggressive advertising, and tracking components also known as Spyware / Adware. Ad-Aware also offers a paid version of the software that tracks in real time your computers Spyware activity.
1. Download Ad-Aware (free). Click here to download Ad-Aware , then click open or "Run from current location".
2. Once the download is complete, this window will show up. Click next until you see the picture in the next step.
3. At this screen, click finish to complete the installation.
4. Double click the Ad-aware 6.0 shortcut icon on your desktop. This will open Ad-aware and you can start find those annoying programs.
5. You will now see this window. Click start
6. Click next
7. You should see Ad-Aware scanning your computer for Spyware. Turn your speakers up for the next step! The scan will take about 1-10 minutes.
8. If you had your speakers turned on you probably heard a buzz sound, that sound indicates your computer has Spyware. A little icon will now flash when the scan is complete. Click next
9. The next screen should display a list of know Spyware programs on your computer. Right click on the list and choose “select all objects”. Verify all the items have checkmarks and click next.
10. This will confirm you want to remove all this resource-wasting, privacy-invading Spyware. Click OK
11. You should now see a screen that shows Ad-aware is deleting all the objects from your computer.
12. Once you have completed all the steps, and your system is clean of Spyware, restart your computer for the changes on your system to take effect.
Original Created by Jorge @ Zeropaid.com
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