Do you have Spyware? by Sners

I am often asked to fix a lot of people's computers. I may be asked to delete a virus, fix the Internet or install a program for the technically challenged. Because of this, I get to use a lot of different technically challenged people's personal computers, and I have noticed something similar about all of them. They all have spyware!

Let me explain what spyware is. First, it is a myth to say it that spyware is made to harm your computer, though I will explain why it eventually does. It is simply a tracking tool built into another piece of software, and by itself is harmless, though arguably, an invasion of privacy as it tracks your trends to report them to various marketing statistics companies. Fine, fine, we can all do a small part to help the economy this way.

However, with about a dozen or so pieces of software on your computer infested with spyware, all trying to track and submit marketing statistics at the same time, your computer becomes slower and slower. This is the harm that it does, and for some people their computer is an annoyance to use. Programs may take a minute to open, the computer takes minutes to load, and multitasking may cause the computer to freeze.

The problem of spyware became a harmful problem, I believe, in the past year when many software companies added spyware to their software around the same timeframe. It was hard not to find software without spyware.

I will explain to you how to avoid getting spyware, and how to delete it, along with some important points.

  • Spyware can track your Internet activity.
  • Spyware can change your search page.
  • Spyware can change your homepage.
  • Spyware can change your "not found" page.
  • Spyware can slow down your computer.
  • Spyware installs itself within another piece of software.
  • Spyware is not included in all software.
  • Some spyware is harmless while another can take more advantage of your computer's processing capability.
  • It is not the end of the world to have spyware on your computer as long as you are able to delete it.
  • Spyware is commonly found in (some) pop-up blockers, (some) browser toolbars and (some) other addons.

There are many good browser plugins that do not have spyware, so I do not want you to delete stuff you need. Most commercial software is also safe.

If your computer is a little slow, and if you have programs installed on there that you are not sure of what they may be, you may want to download a spyware deleting program.

I recommend these two pieces of software. They are free, and you will be able to determine for yourself after scanning, if you will want to opt for a commercial spyware search and removal program. I have also added these links to the ABS Download page:

Article © 2004

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