Getting Rid of Spyware
No matter where you go on the web, someone is trying to infiltrate your system. From web sites placing simple logon cookies, to paid advertising tracking your movements on the web, to malicious software that is designed to record your keystrokes and discover passwords, Spyware and Adware have together become a big problem.
Many of these programs are simply dangerous and seriously threaten your online privacy and identity. Even the simple and supposedly benign Adware programs can cause you serious problems.
Spyware is any program that installs itself onto your computer with the intent to spy on your activity. This can be recording your online searching habits, or whatever you type on your keyboard. Adware is not much better. It is designed to watch what you do online, where you go, which terms you search for and then report this to the ad agency that runs the program.
Many, if not most, advertisers on the internet will try and place a cookie or other small program on your computer. Many will add code that will track that cookie as it hits different pages. The code may be designed simply to gather anonymous data, or it may be trying to send ads to your browser that the advertising company thinks you will be more likely to respond to.
Whatever the case, the Adware or Spyware is using your computer to do its tracking. This means that part of your computer’s power and CPU cycles are being diverted away from the activity you are trying to perform. Your computer is being used by someone else instead to track your movements. These programs can literally slow your computer down to a crawl, or make it crash altogether. They can fill your computer up with trash files, open unwanted popup windows, use up the space in your internet cache and generally just make working on your computer a nightmare.
Luckily there are several easy solutions to the problem. Spyware and Adware are not the same thing as a computer virus or Trojan Horse. Although a computer virus can install spyware on a computer, you will need different tools to remove a computer virus and to keep your system clean from Spyware and Adware. There are several good Spyware/adware programs on the market.
Good programs are Ad-aware from Lavasoft and Spy Sweeper from Webroot Software although there are several others. You can easily find both of these by doing an internet search for Ad-aware and Spy Sweeper or simply do a search for spyware.