WHAT IS SPYWARE AND HOW TO GET RID OF IT
What is Adware and Spyware?
In basic terms, Adware and Spyware are typically hidden programs that have been installed on your computer. (Usually without your knowledge)
They may watch the websites you visit, monitor the data you create, they may also serve you a continuous flow of popups, and a few other nasty things.
Did you know that Spyware and Adware can do the following?
- Personal information entered via the web may be intercepted
- Unauthorized sites can add themselves to your desktop (icons)
- Unauthorized sites can add themselves to your internet favorites
- Your browsing activity can be tracked, monitored and reported
- Unwanted toolbars and searchbars can attach themselves to your browser without your knowledge or approval
- Your personal information can be sold to other parties without your knowledge or consent
- Your default homepage and settings can be hijacked so you can't change them
- These malicious components can drastically slow down your computer and take up your hard drive space
Scary stuff isn't it?
They may do both visible things, such as overwhelm you with advertising popups -- or invisible things, such as silently record and send information about you back to their source.
You might be thinking to yourself, "Why do they do this?".
The short answer... Basically to make money.
To unethical marketing companies, your identity is worth thousands of dollars. They get rich by capitalizing and selling your privacy to third parties, who will in return use you as a guinea pig for their promotions or sell your information to bulk e-mailing companies.
Any way you look at it, you surely DON'T want them installed on your computer.
Now, besides it being incredibly scary to know your activity is being monitored, it can be a source of incredible frustration with the amount of popup ads.
It can also cause a dramatic loss of your computer speed and performance -- not to mention eating megabytes (even gigabytes) of your hard drive space.
And here's the kicker...
Most people who are "infected" with Adware or Spyware, don't realize it!
I talked with a friend who had 5 different Adware programs installed on their computer at the same time and they had no idea.
They knew their computer was incredibly slow, but they didn't know why. They also got popup ads about 80% of the time they visited any website. Before I helped them, they were tempted to scrap their whole system and start over.
Five at on time is not the limit though. I've read online about someone who found 18 of these parasites on their computer! After they were removed, their system ran smoother and stopped crashing.
Do you know if your computer is infected by Spyware?
You could have it and not even know about it.
What's worse, is that Norton Anti-Virus or any other "virus protection" solution, will not protect your computer from malicious applications like Spyware. Adware and Spyware are different from regular viruses, so they are not picked up by your anti-virus software.
How to find out if your computer is infected for free:
Now that you have a basic understanding of what Adware and Spyware programs do, we've included a couple of resource links where you can scan your system for free to see if your computer contains any of these malicious parasites.
- The first is called "No Adware":
- The second is called "PAL Spyware Removal":
These scans are free, so I recommend you visit them and run a quick scan on your computer right now.
When you click to the webpages above, find the "Scan your computer for free" link and click on it.
Choose "OPEN" rather than "SAVE", and it will run from it's current location. You may be shocked to see how your computer infected with several spyware programs.
If you find out you have them on your system, these removal programs can help.
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