Review On Spyware And Adware Removal And Avoidance

In this review on spyware and adware removal, we'll be focusing on how spyware gets installed. You'll be then aware of the situations to steer away from to guard privacy and online security... so, greatly reducing the risk of spyware infections.

Spyware can also show tell-tale signs of its presence... and this review on spyware and adware removal shows you what signs to look out for so you can be alerted early on to a possible installation.

So, let's take a look behind the scenes...

1. Routes For Spyware Installation

This review on spyware and adware removal shows you the three major ways computer spyware can make its way on to our PCs...

I. Bundling or Piggybacking

II. Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities

III. Drive-by Downloads

So, let's take a look at each in turn...

I. Bundling Or Piggybacking

The main route for computer spyware is when it is overtly or secretly bundled with free software downloaded from the Internet.

Websites that offer music-sharing, videos, weather data, games and screen savers cover their costs by bundling adware with the program, for which they are paid by the advertisers.

Most of these programs ask you to accept an End User License Agreement (EULA). Just clicking 'accept' can authorize the installation of additional data-collection and adware. So, be careful to read the small print in the EULA.

Benign Applications
Benign spyware -- usually responsible adware -- shows advertising while the application is running and switches off when the application is switched off.

For instance, the banner ads in the free e-mail program Eudora and free browser Opera are examples of benign adware -- the websites for these programs make it very clear that the products come with adware.

Malicious Applications
However, there is other freeware that can have the malicious monitoring type of spyware -- referred to in Review On Spyware And Adware Removal... Surveillance Spyware -- piggybacking on the program.

The P2P (peer to peer) file-sharing programs like Kazaa, Imesh and Bearshare are often the source of this spyware.

One of the spyware programs the Kazaa P2P client installs is Gator, now renamed Claria, to attempt to change its identity.

Claria is a Trojan application that monitors which Web sites you visit and which applications you access. The Trojan then downloads and displays pop-up ads on your PC which are relevant to your habits.

One of the most concerning features of Claria is its ability to store the information used to complete Web page forms... information such as name, address, e-mail address and credit card number, etc.

II. Internet Explorer Vulnerabilities

Unfortunately, if your browser is Internet Explorer (IE), you are likely to succumb to spyware... unless you have patched it with the numerous security updates.

IE has a history of security flaws and so computer spyware -- particularly homepage-hijackers and dialers -- is able to install by exploiting these vulnerabilities. The prime method is through ActiveX control flaws to allow spyware installation without your permission.

Many add-on toolbars or browser helper objects (BHOs) for IE are sources of malware. Examples are MySearchBar, Alexa and Xupiter.

Both Google and Yahoo toolbars are free of spyware and adware.

As a result of IE's security weaknesses, you may want to consider switching to an alternative browser to guard privacy and online security.

I recommend the free Mozilla Firefox. It's not security perfection, but it is the most secure browser currently available for Windows.

However, if you prefer to stick with IE, then try the new IE9... it's designed to be more secure than its predecessors

You can download it for free from Internet Explorer 9.

III. Drive-by Downloads

Aggressive forms of spyware can install themselves through "drive-by downloads", where a program is invisibly downloaded to your computer without your consent or knowledge.

The program code is embedded in pop-up ads or on websites. It can be initiated by simply visiting a website and often occurs when clicking to close a random advertisement or dialogue box.

Viewing an HTML e-mail message can download spyware. This can happen by clicking on its advert, opening the attachment or, sometimes just opening the message in the preview pane.

2. The Signs of Infection

Depending on the type of spyware that plagues your computer, it may be very easy to detect.

On the other hand, some computer spyware is not so obvious or easy to spot and often, this is the most dangerous spyware, compromising both our security and our privacy.

Some spyware is so sneaky it may give no indication at all that it's installed. That's why it's necessary to install spyware blockers to detect and remove spyware.

Nonetheless, in this review on spyware and adware removal, there are some general symptoms you should be aware of that may indicate spyware may be present on your computer. If you see any of these symptoms... run your spyware blockers.

Because computer spyware is using memory and system resources, such as our Internet connection, spyware running in the background can lead to...

  • System crashes or general system instability. Quite often this is the result of errors within the spyware

  • The PC slowing down compared to its normal performance

  • A drop in our Internet speed or browser pages loading slower

  • The Internet connection light blinking -- showing data transfer -- even though we are not doing anything online

  • An active hard drive indicator light, even though we are not running a program

  • Pop-up ads when we aren't connected to the Internet or that are not related to the web site we are visiting

  • Our browser's home page being changed

  • Our DVD/CD drive opening and closing sporadically

  • 'Illegal Operation' notifications on our screens

  • The printer becoming disabled

  • Computer programs opening and closing automatically

  • Bounced back e-mail and e-mails being sent without our knowledge

This review on spyware and adware removal contains more information to guard privacy and online security from spyware. For instance, which are the most effective spyware removers? And did you know that antispyware has limitations...

3. Review On Spyware And Adware Removal... Supporting Articles

  1. Comments And Reviews On Spyware And Adware Remover... What Is Spyware & How Does It Affect Us?
  2. The Limitations Of Top Of The Line Spyware And Adware Remover Programs
  3. Surveillance Spyware
  4. Adware
  5. Review On Spyware And Adware Removal... 5 Key Steps To Spyware Protection


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