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You Are Your Own Best Defense Against Spyware

Without a doubt, adware is one of the worst things that can happen to you as a computer user.  It can cause you to have pop ups, unwanted advertising and of course, spyware.  It’s a big bad problem and something every computer user should be aware of.  Once spyware becomes present on your computer it can be difficult to remove, but there are different ways that you can start to fight back and protect yourself and we have listed a few of them in this article. So don’t skip and continue reading.

What is Spyware and what does it do? 

Spyware is a type of software that monitors your computer activity.  This can be anything from what you search for, to what you purchase online, and also your financial information.  It’s used to gather this information and sell it to the highest bidder.  It can cause you to be bombarded with pop-ups and unwanted advertisements which can prevent you from doing what you really want to do on your computer.  

One of the most common ways that spyware gets into your computer is through you downloading other free software programs from the internet.  These free programs are actually the ones that cause the interruption and pop-ups on your computer. Without you knowing it, potentially sensitive information such as your user names, passwords and even credit card numbers can get stolen and used by other people.  Passwords and financial records can be stolen and then used to steal your identity, which can also be detrimental to your life and financially.  

Sometimes, spyware can be spread through your computer by visiting websites.  Visiting certain types of websites can search your computer for specific files.  These types of websites are known as spyware playgrounds.  Basically, it appears to be a website that is designed to harm your computer.  Some of these spyware playgrounds have been known to Matte your computer and install additional spyware onto your computer.

But that’s just one side of it.  Another side is that some of the spyware that infests your computer may be able to better shield itself from your efforts to rid your computer of malicious software.

 

 

What are the problems that these spywares potentially create for your computer or to the user?

There are several problems that a user faces that are caused by spyware. 

  • Spyware is a type of malware that tries to gather information from a user’s computer, such as passwords and credit card numbers. It does this by reading the data being sent back and forth from the computer. 
  • Spyware may not only steal information from the user but also steal identities. It can also lead into other more serious problems such as identity theft and fraud. 
  • Spyware can even make your computer vulnerable to viruses or other attacks.
  • Spyware can cause a computer to hang and run slow. 
  • Another issue is spam emails, which occur when email addresses are collected for marketing purposes.
  • Unauthorized installation without the user’s permission
  • Redirecting to other websites without the knowledge of the person and/or pop-ups that are too intrusive.

 

To prevent those problems from occurring, and to safeguard your devices and yourself from the potential harm that these may do to you and your equipment, we’ve included a few pointers that you should keep in mind.

Here are the best ways to defend yourself from spywares:
  1. The first way is to keep your computer up to date with important and necessary software and hardware updates. 
  2. Consider using a comprehensive spyware detection and removal program, like a spyware scanner which will do the same basic task as an antivirus, but only for spywares. 
  3. Use firewalls.  They offer pretty solid protection against spywares that finds its way into your computer. Installing a firewall will also protect you from any other malicious programs if your antivirus program fails. 
  4. Install anti-virus programs, operating system patches, and antivirus software on your computer, and keep your antivirus software updated.
  5. Change passwords for online accounts monthly but if that is a hassle or you can’t keep up with the monthly update, use strong passwords with a multitude of character combinations. 
  6. Be aware of any changes in your computer’s behavior such as slowdowns and crashes. Keep your systems clean by removing any unnecessary files or software. 
  7. Avoid opening suspicious email attachments, clicking on an unknown file/link,  or downloading freeware from peer-to-peer networking sites. 
  8. Don’t download applications from sources you don’t trust. (This one’s pretty obvious and self-explanatory.)
  9. Set your browsers to warn when visiting potentially dangerous sites and use an ad blocker or browser extension for your web browsers.

 

Finally, the simplest and most effective approach to avoid this sort of infection is to pay attention to the sources while downloading a program from a website. You are your greatest line of defense when it comes to protecting your equipment, yourself, your family, and your business.

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