Saturday, 9 June 2007

Attack of the Spyware... and Prevention

Spyware is the new bane of computer users' lives. While virus writers often have a weird fascination with corrupting files or formatting the hard drives of strangers, spyware is often created by companies and individuals, with profit firmly on their minds.

Modern spyware tries to track the surfing habits of computer users, can steal passwords, email addresses, and anything else typed by users, takes over affiliate links for online purchases, slows down computers, and likes generating random popups.

I now take much more care when downloading files or surfing to unknown websites, after a bad Spyware attack last year. I'm still not exactly sure how I managed to acquire the spyware on my PC, but knew something was up when my regular homepage changed to some random search engine I'd never heard of.

I also found many words on regular websites started turning into clickable links, with hover-over ads. The final straw was having random spam directory websites popping up in my browser, with new windows popping up as quickly as I closed them.

It took many hours of internet searching, online "disinfecting" of files, and deleting problem and suspect files to finally rid myself of the various Spyware programs that had managed to embed themselves in my PC.

I now try to use the much safer Mozilla Firefox web browser, and installed good Spyware protection software. One of the best solutions against attacks is Spy Sweeper. PC World named it as the "Best Buy", while the software was the "Editor's Choice" at PC Magazine.

With spyware becoming more sophisticated and more malicious, software like Spy Sweeper is vital to protect your computer. It offers advanced spyware detection, with custom blocking and removal available to beat the more dangerous spyware programs.

Spy Sweeper subscribers also get regular automatic updates of the program's spyware definition database, ensuring you're always protected against the latest threats.

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