We all use computers and laptops in our daily routine and cannot imagine our work or personal life without it. Whether it is sending emails, using the internet, having a conference call or webinar everything is connected and related to desktops and laptops. Every coin has two sides and so does technology.
Most of us don’t even know that there is a devil called spyware that is unknowingly downloaded by you and that it gives away all the information to its creator. What is Spyware And How to Avoid Spyware On Your Computer are two important questions that need to be answered.
Let us understand what spyware is in the first place and then learn how to avoid it. In simple words spyware is software that resides in your computer and sends information to the creator. Spyware is used to extract information about the user like his surfing habits, login id, passwords and other private and confidential information. Some spyware programs are used to gather email addresses that are used in spam email campaigns while some irritate you with constant pop ups that ask you to fill in online forms.
Most of the times, you do not that a spyware is being downloaded along with a software application that you chose to download. There is no harm to the software application and since it runs fine you do not suspect any background activity. Many types of software do mention spywares in their end user license agreement (EULA) but is seldom read by us as it is lengthy and uses legal language that is difficult to understand. However, a solution to this problem is software that reads the EULA and displays any sentence which mentions spyware risk.
Spywares are dangerous and so are other types of malware that can reside in your computer like Malware, Virus, Adware, Worm, Trojan and Cookie. Spyware sends information to its developer every time you use your computer and sometimes they are designed to follow your surfing activities including your online banking activities. Some have been seriously affected by spywares.
Spyware were not legal but now since companies are including them in the license agreement which we blindly click on to say “I agree” we are actually giving permission to the company to use the spyware to get information.
One can prevent spyware by taking a number of steps.
- Keep your Windows up to date by setting up automatic updates in control panel.
- Install an anti-virus application and keep that updated too.
- Do not download shareware from unknown sources.
- Do not click on any pop up or free anti spy software.
- Set your browser security to medium or high so that a message is displayed in case of any spyware.
- Never open attachments or emails from unknown sources.
- Do not visit questionable websites.
- In case of a virus alert, delete it from the system immediately.
To protect your system from spyware and other malware always follow the above methods. In spite of doing all the above there are still spywares in the system, then stop using the internet and run a scan and identify the spyware to delete it. If everything fails, take a data back up and format your hard disk. Reinstall the operating system and software and copy your data. This is last resort to clear your system of the spyware. Although, it is a painful process it is the only solution to be safe and secure. Many spyware detectors are available now and a reputed antivirus can solve most of your problems. So, keep your system updated and keep your worries at bay.