July 6th, 2004, 05:25 AM
FAQ About Spyware And Spyware Security
Greeting's AOer's. This tutorial is going to be about Spyware/Adware and what it is, how to prevent yourself from getting it, detection/elimination, etc. So let's get started with a definition.
What Is Spyware?
Spyware (as defined by a glossary or two) is a general term for a program that surreptitiously monitors your actions. While they are sometimes sinister, like a remote control program used by a hacker, software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. The practice is generally frowned upon. Spyware can also be defined as:
* A technology that assists in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet, "spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties." As such, spyware is cause for public concern about privacy on the Internet.
* (From Noadware.com): Spyware and Adware is software made by publishers that allow them to snoop on your browsing activity, invade your privacy, and flood you with those horrible popups. If you are like most users on the internet, chances are you are probably infected with these applications. That is why we have designed our revolutionary product.
Where Can I Get Spyware?
Sadly, you can get these type of program's and application's from just about anwhere online. Where you would get trojan's and viruses, you would now get spyware as well. It could come from a simple e-mail attachment, to a popup from your browser or a website, to even your IM profile's. Thus said, spyware could be recieved in almost any matter a trojan or virus could be recieved.
What Can/Does Spyware Do To My System?
Now alot of people wonder, "Well, what exactly does it do?". Now, some spyware is simply an annoyance that can easily be ignored or deleted from your system. However, some spyware application's are meant to get password's from you or even certain information/data that you might not want to give out. That's usually the case, however certain link's to spyware-injected website's (IM Spyware) linkn you to a website and have a certain script or spyware code in the website itself designed to cause a problem for your system. Again, spyware is more of an annoyance than anything else and isn't AS malicious as viruses are. (Although some spyware can link you to a trojan or a virus)
What Are Some Step's I Can Take To Protect Myself?
There are a number of simple, logical step's one can take to avoid these hazard's:
* Don't open e-mail attachment's from people you don't know, especially companies "offering" something that might catch your attention.
* Don't download a program/application unless it's from the vendor's direct site. Doing otherwise can risk having someone inject a spyware application (or a trojan/virus for that matter) into the program.
* Use a pop-up blocker when browsing the net.
* When on IM application's, do not click on link's that are given to you by people you don't know. Even if you know them, it could still be dangerous so be sure the link doesn't connect you to a malicious site.
* The old saying "If it sound's too good to be true, it probably is" applies in this category. Live by that rule.
* Don't trust p2p application's. This can be said for viruses/trojan's as well, but some p2p application's itself let alone the downloads are spyware app's.
What Are Some Tool's That Can Detect/Eliminate Spyware?
There are a number of effective tool's that can help scan, detect, and eliminate spyware. Here are some link's to the most commonly used and effective detection/removal tool's:
Lavasoft Ad-aware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
Well, that about wrap's this tutorial up. Hopefully some user's will now know/understand Spyware/Adware and will protect themselve's better from it. Anyway's, thanks for reading!