What is Spyware
Spyware is any software that gathers information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet (where it is sometimes called a tracking software), spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties.
Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing a new program. For example, some programs are distributed free but their authors earn money for advertisement. So when you are installing such a program it also installs some advertising tools which may connect to Internet to send you advertisement. You even don't know that you have the tool installed on your PC! As a result your Internet connection speed is slowed down!
Other kind of harmful applications opens web-sites you don't want to open or makes you really exhausted by popups. The most dangerous spyware can gather private information on your PC and send it into the Internet. Below you can find a more detailed list of possible ways spyware can harm your PC.
If you have ever downloaded music or software from the internet or visited adult web sites there is a very high chance YOU HAVE SPYWARE ON YOUR PC ! Spyware and Adware are files that can be installed on your computer even though you don't want them!
How can Spyware affect my PC?
- Steal your passwords
- Delete your files
- Crashes your PC
- Steal your SSN and credit card numbers
- Hijack your homepage
- Slow down your computer
- Send your email addresses to SPAMers
- Use your PC to send spam
When can you suspect your PC is infected?
- Your home page or any other browser's settings have been changed without your knowledge
- You can see additional toolbars in your browser which you din't want
- You see pop-up with advertisement even when you are not online
- Your computer takes longer than usual to complete certain tasks
- You have started to receive a lot of unwanted mails