Firstly what is a computer virus? It’s a program that replicates itself and hides inside other programs in an attempt to infect as many computers as possible. Other nasty programs are known as malware. One of the worst types is spyware. Spyware secretly collects your personal information and Web activities and then sends this information to third parties without your knowledge. Other types are categorised as annoyware. Annoyware generates lots of pop-up and pop-under ads usually for porn, gambling, or scams when you use a Web browser. Another insidious application is keylogger. Keylogger software records every keystroke you make then emails the file to hacker. The recipient sifts through the file to identify passwords, banking information, and credit card numbers. Yet another nasty are dialers. These days less prevalent due to fewer dial modems being in use. A dailer secretly instructs your modem to silently dial an expensive overseas sleazy long distance telephone company. You find out when you get the bill from your telephone company. The hacker splits the invoice with the disreputable telephone company.
You need to protect yourself from the above.
One of the better malware detectors and removers is Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware Personal. Free anti virus software AVG, Microsoft Essentials. F-Secure, McAfee, NOD32, NORTON are paid for anti virus solutions. The short coming with a Malware detector approach – it’s reactive. In other words you’re infected. Microsoft Windows Defender is proactive it scans in real time (if it’s not part of your operating system you can search Microsoft.com for “Windows Defender”). It’s a good idea to have both types of programs, and run Adware on a regular basis to detect and delete what Windows Defender misses. Why does Windows Defender miss attacks? All protection software depends upon identification. Once identified the code is written to block the infection. The code is called a definition update. Usually definition updates are automatically run at PC start-up. The best way to protect yourself against adware and spyware is by investing a little money on a commercial anti-spyware utility. One highly regarded solution is Webroot Spyware (other providers are listed above). Usually providers combine the two solutions under the title Internet Security. Such packages constantly monitors’ your system for malicious software and catches more malicious software than free utilities can. If you use your computer for online banking I recommend you use a paid security solution.
NOTE: Before downloading and installing a spyware removal program not listed above, I have some advice: Many of the companies offering free anti-spyware software are actually spyware promulgators. Should you decide to install adware or spyware removal tool, search for the product at symantech.com a company that monitors malware threats.
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