Spyware is comparable to a PC virus, in that spyware is a malevolent program that will install itself on your computer without obtaining your permission. Instead of taking over your computer and destroying your applications, spyware is designed to do just that, “spy” on you.
Spyware will collect your personal information by scanning your existing computer files. This type of program can view your browsing history and can even calculate your keystrokes in order to create a profile of your information. The constructed profile will then be used to send pop up ads to your computer that are targeting to your specific interests. Some people call spyware by a different name, “adware”. It earned this name because of the fact that its primary purpose is to sell you stuff. However, you should beware, some spyware is designed to steal your financial info (fortunately, this is rare).
Your best option for defending yourself against spyware or adware, is to avoid downloading any file you deem to be suspicious. However, if you download often, you should consider spyware/adware software to help prevent spyware from infecting your PC. There is also spyware removal software available. The top spyware removal software uses very minimal memory space and few resources in order to run. It is updated frequently to be aware of the most recent threats.
Prior to purchasing any spyware protection software, be sure you review the features of your current antivirus software. Many antivirus programs will come standard with spyware protection built in as an internal component. If your current antivirus software has spyware and adware protection built in, you very likely will not need any additional software to do the job.
Since adware is an ever growing issue, more and more adware software is popping up in the market. Some of our favorites are: Spy Sweeper by webroot, CounterSpy by Sunbelt Software, ZoneAlarm by Check Point, and Ad-Aware Pro by Lavasoft. You should be able to find these programs for between twenty and thirty dollars. They typically include about a year’s worth of updates. After a year, the software will require a new subscription. Because this software is so affordable, you shouldn’t need to budget too seriously to afford it.
The right spyware software will bring you peace of mind and some added protection when it comes to navigating the Internet. Remember to keep your individual needs in mind and shop around before you buy.