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.