Friday, June 1, 2007

Your Computer Needs Protection From Adware And Spyware

Has you computer been acting stranger than usual lately? About 95% of people that actively surf the net have computers infected with spyware. It’s a common problem, a common misery, that needs to be dealt with as soon as you find an infection. What is spyware? Spyware programs come in many different shapes and sizes but all have a couple of things in common. Spyware infects your computer through other downloads, clicks on pop-ups or simply surfing to the wrong website. You won’t know when it hits; you’ll just see the results later. Spyware can gain access to and send out your personal information to other remote computers without your knowledge or consent, and it’s a chore to find and uninstall it. It can be next to impossible to get rid of it by yourself; you’ll need the help of a removal program.
Methods of spyware infection:1. An email, possibly with attachments. They can look innocent enough, but once opened they can invade your computer with downloads of spyware.2. Websites. You pass a bad website, seemingly innocent, but you’ve picked up something along the way. Could be a download that looked legit, could be from cookies the site pushes to your computer. Either way, once the program is downloads and installed, your system is infected. Porn sites are notorious for spyware and adware that pushes pop-ups to your computer.3. Bundled. You think you’re downloading your favorite song, but bundled with it is spyware. Peer to peer downloads are also notorious for infection points.
Symptoms of infection:1. Changed home page. The changing of your browsers default home page is a common occurrence when dealing with spyware.2. Websites in your favorites. Sometimes strange websites pop up in your favorite lists without your knowledge. If you tried to delete them and they just came back after rebooting your computer, this is good sign of an infection.3. Slow computer. Spyware installs to you computer and runs from it, taking up a lot of memory space to drive the programs. If your computer is running slower than usual, do some digging to see if you can’t find the reason behind it.4. Pop-up ads. If you suddenly start receiving many more pop-ups than usual, mostly of adult content, you could have a problem. Spyware programs serve advertisements when you are browsing the internet or sometimes just when your connection is on.
The best thing you can do to prevent spyware is to be wary of the sites you’re browsing to, what ads you click on, and what you download. It won’t be 100% effective, but it can save you hassle later. Also, you should get a reputable spyware remover that can search and destroy the programs that you find so difficult to uninstall.

An Explanation of Anti-Spyware Software

There is a lot of confusion amongst people as to which spyware prevention and removal software to use. The amount of programs out there that claim effectiveness is overwhelming. One anti-spyware and anti-adware software is essential. Sometimes they come together; sometimes there are separate software for each. Having more than one protection installed on your computer is not necessary. The systems can actually conflict with each other and cause both to backfire when certain backup files are deleted from each. Having one good anti-spyware software is enough to protect from most kinds of intrusive software.
The problem with multiple anti-spyware software is having both run at the same time. When software A runs, backups are created that are crucial for when an infection is found. Running software B creates backups also. However, while it scans it is likely to find the backups created by software A and delete them. The next course of action is for both software systems to eliminate the spyware found, but the backup files won’t be in place to do that. The backups usually contain infected or quarantined files that could be vital to the operation of your computer. They shouldn’t be deleted or your computer might not be able to function properly. Also, by running multiple anti-software at the same time, it can slow down your computer. The two may not even work together since many have real time protection.
You can do research on which spyware systems work the best and whatnot, just make sure you’re only using one. The software offers a cure once your system has been infected. However, prevention and user protection is better than a cure since you don’t want your computer to ever need the software. That doesn’t mean the software doesn’t need to be in place; there is not currently a way to be 100% safe on the internet, even if you try your hardest to be prudent online. There are some ways to reduce your risk of getting an infection, though.
Avoid porn sites and badly designed websites. These typically serve more pop-ups for you to accidentally click on and become infected. They also can use cookies to watch where you browse and so forth. Sometimes it doesn’t take a click to become infected. Credible sites usually don’t serve numerous pop-ups. Stick to popular, user-friendly sites that are reportedly good. If you’re fumbling your way around the internet, you’re bound to catch something nasty. Protect yourself from spyware by being prudent on the internet and getting some worthwhile anti-spyware software.

Anti-Spyware Software - Free or Paid?

Being infected with spyware can be a hassle because it affects the performance of your computer. It slows it down dramatically by taking up memory space, serves annoying pop-ups, and can be very dangerous. Spyware can include keyloggers, adware, Trojans, browser hijacks, and viruses. It can change your homepage and favorites without your knowledge or permission, and it can track what you view online. It’s a very big security risk for anyone as someone can get a hold of your credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and other sensitive information.
There are two widely used types of anti-spyware available for free. Ones is a spybot that detects spyware, and the other is an adware remover. Both are available for download and are uses by many users. They’re pretty good software to detect most of the spyware on your computer, but they are not 100% effective. With simple experiments using both one after the other, then using a paid software, it has been shown that these free software are only about 70% effective at detecting and removing spyware on your system. And that was when both free software were used in combination. Running only one is not a guarantee of getting rid of much.
Paid anti-spyware is much better in the long-run because it should be constantly updated with new algorithms and detection tools. You pay for the service and receive updates periodically that change with the new threats present on the internet. You also get better support services with paid software. If you need help with a technical issue, paid software usually comes with help 24/7 to get you through the issue and back up and running. It has more support because it’s trying to turn a profit; it needs to be the best to have people continue to subscribe. Check out the customer service of the paid software you’re interested in. If it wants to keep it’s members, it will probably have excellent service. In contrast, many free programs come without technical support or service at all.
Though there are free options that will help you to feel more secure (it’s definitely more secure than having nothing), paid options are much better. All in all, you will be happier and more protected with a paid program that offers frequent updates, support and service, and gets the job done more efficiently. Always do your research before buying an anti-spyware software; make sure other customers have great things to say about it.