Spyware Protect Your Privacy
Spyware Protect Your Privacy.What is spyware? I haven’t counted the number of times we’ve been called in to fix PCs and find out that the system has been damaged by “spyware”. Spyware is Internet jargon for ad-supported software (Adware).
Advertising Spyware is software that is installed with other software or through ActiveX controls on the Internet without the user generally knowing or fully knowing that it will be used to collect personal information and/or display ads to users. Adware spyware records user information including passwords, email addresses, browsing history, online shopping habits, computer hardware and software configuration, name, age, gender count, etc. of the user.
Spyware Protect Your Privacy.In addition to privacy and security issues, resource-hogging adware and spyware can cause system and browser instability and slowness.
These are some of the scenarios that indicate a spyware “infection”.
Your new search engine: Google. You go to Google’s website and do your research. Suddenly, ads appear on your screen. Boring? Google’s site doesn’t use pop-ups! It goes against their company philosophy (another reason I love Google). So where does the pop-up come from? There is software (spyware) on your PC that monitors your keystrokes and the contents of your hard drive and sends information to third parties on the Internet, who will then show you Pop-up ads based on your search interests or the websites you have visited.
This scenario illustrates how incredibly nasty spyware can be. But worse, consider the security and privacy issues highlighted by this type of surveillance. How secure are the passwords you use locally or online? Is this information sent back to the server along with other personal or business information scanned from your hard drive? Do not shrink. It’s not worth a chance. We’ll discuss how to identify and prevent spyware from “infecting” your system later on.
You start your computer in the morning. PCs have never been the fastest to start up and be ready to go, but they have never been slower than they are today. Now the computer hard drive light is always on and you can hear the hard drive sound in your computer. This unusual drive behavior is a clue that there may be spyware scanning your hard drive and sending the results to third parties, who will use it to send you ads based on your hard drive. on your preferences.
The second scenario illustrates not only the privacy and security issues mentioned in the first scenario, but also the resources that the spyware hijacks for its own use. The most noticeable resource depletion is that of the PC itself. Valuable RAM, CPU cycles, and hard disk reads are used by the spyware for its own purposes. On a slower PC, this resource usage is noticeable, creating an unusable and unstable PC for a period of time.
User productivity will inevitably suffer. Network and Internet bandwidth is also consumed by spyware, which slows down access to legitimate network communications and can lead to reduced productivity and higher cost of network ownership.
How to identify spyware “intrusion”
There are indications that spyware may have been installed on a computer.You are bombarded with ads that pop up every time you use your web browser.The computer runs slowly and notices an increase in disk activity.
Computers are becoming more and more unstable and prone to crashes and blue screens.Icons appear on the taskbar that were not there before.
Network activity is observed when the computer is not in use. An increase in the number and frequency of spam emails is observed.
Many freeware are available to install spyware on your system. One of the most recognizable types of spyware comes from a company called Gator Advertising (http://www.gator.com/). Their spyware is installed alongside free programs like Precision Time, Date Manager, and Offer Companion.
You may have seen one or more of these programs after they magically appeared on the taskbar (where your computer clock is displayed). See Figures 2-1 and 2-2. Have you ever wondered how they got there? You are about to find out.
Date Manager Status Bar Icons Status Bar Icons Exact Time
How to Install Spyware
Some websites use additional software to enable special features available on the Web. One of the most popular sites using this technology is the Microsoft Windows Update site.
Before you install the updates, you must accept the installation of a small piece of software called an ActiveX control. Shockwave enhanced sites also require acceptance of additional software. It is normal to accept this software.
If your web browser’s security settings are enabled, you will be prompted for permission to install software. See Figures 2-3 and 2- This is where it gets confusing. Look at Figures 2-5 and 2-6 below.
A little different from the Shockwave and Windows Update security warnings shown above. They usually appear when you first visit a website, making it seem like you need them to see it. Not so.
That’s where they catch you. Most users will assume that they need to install software, they click and spyware is downloaded to their PC. Other forms of spyware infection are the result of saying OK to suggestions as shown in Figure 2-7 and Figure 2-8. How to prevent spyware “infections”
The chances of keeping a computer free of spyware are greatly increased if a few simple rules are followed.
Make sure your internet browser settings are set to at least default. Internet Explorer’s privacy settings can be accessed by going to Internet Explorer’s Tools menu and choosing Internet Options.