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Detecting and Removing Harmful Spyware

Anyone who owns a personal computer has most likely learned the importance of using good anti-spyware software to protect browsing information and personal information from thieves and hackers.

The term spyware implicates software that spies on the computer’s user, gathering information regarding the user’s browsing preferences and potentially installing dangerous worms or viruses. These descriptions cover the basics of spyware, but more advanced programs are being used to do so much more – which presents additional dangers to the user. Today’s spyware programs not only mine browsing information from the computer, but they also are now used to steal the user’s identifying or bank account information as well.

The Many Uses of Spyware

Adware is one form of spyware. Advertisements embedded in shareware and other computer programs embed spyware onto your hard drive when you download the program. While these programs run, they track the user’s browsing histories in order to tailor the types of advertising sent to the user. Once installed, the computer user may notice many pop-ups or unusual web browser behavior as the user is directed to the advertiser’s web site.

Many spyware programs come bundled with other software, and are virtually impossible to remove with traditional anti-spyware programs without destroying the original, parent software that the user purchased. These are difficult types of spyware programs to control, since the developers of anti-spyware software do not wish to damage legitimate software programs. This is one reason it is so important to use a technologically advanced spyware detection and removal program, such as PC Tools Spyware Doctor, Webroot spysweeper, & Paretologic’s XoftSpySE, which can track down and eliminate spyware quickly and easily.

Methods of Infection

Unlike viruses, spyware does not self-propagate, nor does it attempt to spread from one computer to another. Spyware usually sneaks into your computer’s hard drive secretly, through some sort of “back door.” Either it gains access to your computer embedded in other programming, or it exploits your computer’s vulnerabilities and attacks through such means as pop-up advertisements. There are now even some spyware programs that are cleverly disguised as security software.

Since web browsers now have anti-spyware tools and sometimes require a user to confirm the initiation of a program through a separate dialogue box, clever spyware emulates the dialogue box and deceptively redirects the user into downloading the spyware rather than the original program sought by the user.

Advanced spyware detection and removal software such as the Spyware doctor by PC Tools, XoftSpySE by Paretologic has the ability to track down and eliminate all hidden sources of spyware programs, restoring the computer to maximum performance.

Behavior of an Infected Computer

One spyware program is not likely to cause serious operational problems with a computer, but they rarely attack a computer alone. Once a computer has been infected it is vulnerable to attack by a number of other security threats, quickly bogging the computer down with spyware, worms, viruses, and an inordinate amount of pop-ups. The computer may behave oddly, taking the user to unusual home pages on the Internet browser or running extremely slowly. In other cases, the user will be completely unaware of any changes in the computer’s operation.

In order to provide the best protection for your computer against harmful spyware programs, it is advisable to use a quality spyware detection and removal program recommended by us.