Spyware is computer software that collects personal information about users without their informed consent- definition as per wikipedia. Spyware, trojans and the like have become a serious nuisance for ordinary internet users and enterprises. Gartner has estimated that 80 to 90 percent of computers have some form of spyware on them.
Spywares may record your personal information secretly using a variety of techniques, including logging your keystrokes, scanning the history of your browser or in rare cases documents on disk drive. The main purpose of spyware is to track websites visted by you and send them to advertising agencies to do targeted advertising or study Internet users behaviour. Some malicious type of software can be used to steal user ids, passwords or credit card numbers for fraudelent uses. Spyware and malware are also now targeting Messengers, P2P file sharing software and community websites like Orkut, Myspace by Phish attacks.
Unlike viruses and worms, spyware does not usually self-replicate. Like many recent viruses, however, spyware by design exploits infected computers for commercial gain. Spyware are like uninvited guests, who refuse to leave.
In addition, they spy and report your activities and also try to sell you things. Is your machine infected by spyware? Here are some telltale signs. You are frequently notice unwanted behavior and degradation of system performance as a spyware infestation can create significant unwanted CPU activity, disk usage, and network traffic. System crashes or hangs, requiring you to reboot your machine You Internet connection has slowed down or you are observing Internet activity even when you are not not accessing any websites or sending emails. You are seeing displaying pop-up ads on a regular basis which open other sites or show advertisements. New windows may also pop up when you open a new browser window.
In some infections, the spyware is not even evident. Users assume in those situations that the issues relate to hardware, to Windows installation problems, or a virus. Some of the most detected spywares are - Gator, CoolWebSearch, 180 Search Assistant, Huntbar, Cydoor, ISTbar, WhenU-DesktopBar, New.Net, IEPlugin, BargainBuddy.
How can you get infected with spyware? Don't do any of this to prevent an infection. Spyware does not directly spread in the same way as a computer virus. Instead, spyware gets on a system by decepting the user or through known security flaws in software. Spyware is installed mostly, without your being aware. e.
g when you are installing a piece of desirable software say a P2P file sharing one. Developers of spyware usually present the program as a useful utility for instance as a "Memory booster" or other such helpful software. You download and install the software without immediately suspecting that it could cause harm and the spyware gets installed. Spyware may come bundled with shareware or other downloadable software or music CDs.
You download the program and installs it, and the installer additionally installs the spyware. Spyware authors sometimes pay shareware or freeware authors to bundle spyware with their software. Another way of distributing spyware involves tricking you while browsing the Internet. Websites which distribute spyware may sometimes shows a standard looking Windows dialog box.
The box may contain a message such as "Would you like to speed up your Internet access?" and with links which look like buttons reading Yes and No. No matter which "button" you presses, a download starts, placing the spyware on your system. Some spyware infect systems through known security holes in the Web browser. When you reach to a website controlled by the spyware developer, the website may contain code which attacks the browser and forces the download and installation of spyware leaving you as a hapless bystander. The spyware author would also have some extensive knowledge of commercially-available anti-virus and firewall software.
Common browser exploits target security vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer and in the Microsoft Java runtime. The installation of spyware frequently involves Internet Explorer. Its deep integration with the Windows environment and scriptability make it an obvious point of attack into Windows. How to get rid of spyware? The spread of spyware has led to the development of an entire anti-spyware industry.
Its products remove or disable existing spyware on the computers they are installed on and prevent its installation. Well friend, you will have to use a spyware removal software to get rid of installed spyware software. In extreme cases, the only answer is to take backups of all your data, reformat your hard disk, reload the operating system and restore your data. Moral of the story: Prevention is better (and in most cases CHEAPER) than cure.
or Look BEFORE you leap. What your choice?
.Danny Palsley writes about things which are useful for the Internet users.
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