What is Spyware?
Spyware is a unwanted program that attaches itself to your computer. Unlike computer viruses spyware does not attempt to replicate itself from your computer onto other machines. Spyware comes normally comes from either websites that encourage you to click on downloads that don’t fully explain themselves or they come attached to other legitimate programs such as file sharing applications.
Spyware have a detrimental effect to you machine causing many of the following symptoms:
- Pop ups – New Browser windows with adverts in.
- Try and shut down your antivirus.
- Block access to antivirus and websites.
- Change your Browser home page to go to theirs.
- Keep track of websites your visit.
- Download adverts
The most vicious form of spyware can even log key presses, scan hard disk and take screen shots to try and gain information such as logins to sites, credit card information or personal information to then be used in cyber crime. As you can see it is important to protect yourself against such actions.
What is Anti Spyware?
Anti spyware is a program that will sit on your computer and make sure that attempts by spyware programs to attach themselves to your machine are blocked. The problem with any type of anti spyware program is that is reactive and not pro-active. This means they have to wait for a malicious piece of software to be developed before they can provide a blocker for it. They cannot predict what spyware is going to be made so have to react to when appears on the internet.
There are many different programs available on the market. All have their pros and cons. I have found that although you can find free versions some do not offer real time protection just a full hard disk when you ask it. I think that to get the best spyware protection you have to purchase a product. I myself use Webroot on all my pc’s and have never had a problem.
What can I do to protect myself and my computer?
Most importantly you need to download an Anti spyware program with real time protection. There are also a few other things we can do while using the internet to help protect ourselves. When buying software make sure it’s from a reputable dealer that has no additional downloads with it. Exercise caution when downloading free software and avoid visiting dodgy sites. One thing I have found is that file sharing and peer to peer networking is a major cause of spyware and the only way to make sure these do not affect your computer is to not install these types of software in the first place.