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Spyware

Spyware is a real threat that can devastate a computer. 
 

Spyware is a type of malware that can be installed on computers and collects little bits of information at a time about users without their knowledge.

  • The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user, and can be difficult to detect.
  • Typically, spyware is secretly installed on the user's personal computer.
  • Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information,
  • Spyware is known to change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and/or loss of Internet or functionality of other programs 
  • Spyware usually disguises itself as antivirus software and warns you of multiple infections.
    If you try to “clean” your computer, you will be installing the spyware. If you get a virus warning, be sure it’s from your regular antivirus.

Sources of Spyware:

  • File-sharing programs (Limewire, Ares, Morpheus, Bit Torrent, etc.) are the biggest source of infections. 
  • Adult websites, gambling websites and many gaming websites are fraught with peril.
  • Any website offering “freebies” (screensavers, fancy toolbars, for example) can and often does install some spyware along with them. 
  • Facebook and other social networking sites are being heavily targeted by hackers. While using them, care needs to be exercised. The Fake-Alert virus oftentimes comes from there.