The Spyware and Adware Guide I

Spyware / Adware Navigation

1. Intro

2. What is Spyware / Adware

3. Is Spyware illegal?

4. Browser Hijackers a & others

5. Adaware Tutorial

6. Spyware / Adware Links

Spyware / Adware Introduction
With the explosion of peer to peer file sharing on the net comes new methods of advertising to pay for operating costs to the creators of popular computer software. Many computer companies struggle to pay for these costs and turn to software bundling as a way to increase revenue. Often times the highest paying marketing campaign is the most disruptive method to the end user, thus how Spyware gets a bad name. In this article I discuss the different types of Spyware and Adware and how to remove, prevent, and stay free from these annoying parasites.

Have you locked your doors?
Many people are unaware that their PC is often used as a server without their knowledge or consent. Imagine walking out of your house everyday with the front door and windows wide open, all of your bills sitting out on the kitchen table, your wallet laying on floor in plain site for all passers by to see. Along with your bills, there are also your bank statements, your porno magazines and videos, your address book and anything else that you wish to keep away from public view.

Better yet, think of somebody following you around with a video camera (or in this case, planting one on you), recording your every move 24 hours a day, watching what brand of cereal you eat, knowing your sexual fetishes, following you to every store that you frequent, writing down the brand names of all products that you buy, eavesdropping on every conversation that you have with your friends, and takes a note of all the TV shows you like to watch and all of the artists that you listen to.

And if that isn’t invasive enough for you, that same person who is taking down this information is calling up various advertisers from the products that you buy, and is selling your name, address, and phone number, so that when you get home for work and your ready for a relaxing dinner, you are flooded with telemarketing calls from every company that knows your personal business. And never mind sorting through the junk mail.

Does this sound far fetched to you? If you are a new PC or Internet user, and have not been educated about the use of Spyware, it is almost certain that this is happening to you at this very moment. Although there is nobody following you around with a video camera, there are companies who plant various programs in your computer, to track all of your surfing habits, record information, and sell that information to companies that want to bombard you with advertisements, in attempt to get you buy their products. Worse yet, you can fall victim to credit card thieves who record your key logging strokes when you fill out an online form, or a sociopath hacker who causes needless destruction to people’s hard drives for no other reason, but that “they can”.

Things to remember
Spyware / Adware uses up system resources, CPU time, memory, disk space, and Internet bandwidth, making your system slower. It is good practice to scan your computer once a month for Spyware / Adware using the tools discussed later in this article.

Preventing Spyware / Adware from being installed on to your system
There are a number of free tools available that will scan your computer on startup to determine if you have any unwanted programs installed. Programs are also available that act as a firewall to these types of unwanted computer programs, when a program is found on the system it is deleted immediately after confirmation. Read the rest of the article to discover how this is all done.