Most people who are a bit knowledgeable about computers are aware of all the online threats such as hackers, spam and viruses and the potential damage that they can do. A new threat has made its appearance lately and is probably one of the most ferocious threats found in cyber space. It has the ability to deliver a great deal of damage to computer systems, and can even result in total corruption of data. This new threat is generally called Spyware but is also known by other terms such as Malware, Scumware, Adware, Snoopware, Crimeware, etc.
Spyware made its appearance during the last ten to fifteen years and is known to be able to totally destroy data on computer systems. It monitors the PC users’ online habits, manages to bridge the computer security net and installs itself on the computer. This malicious threat uses the acquired information from your online habits to go about its destruction in total secrecy.
Although their names and exact mode of action is well disguised from many computer users, these malicious threats fortunately do have some tell-tale signs indicative of a possible attack. Computer performance is very often compromised and starts to crash regularly and its speed of carrying out various processes is significantly reduced. Visibly undeletable toolbars appear and there is often a huge number of pop ups which appear simultaneously to take over your screen area. There are also some typical displays when a user goes online. These include the resetting of the web browser homepage and completely unrelated search results when utilising search engines. Although there may be other signs, these are the most common which should alert you of a possible Spyware attack.
These destructive little applications use number of methods of entering and breaking through your computers defences. Probably the most common ploy used is to infect genuine online files such as word processor, audio and image files. When you download these to your computer, the Spyware gets downloaded as well right under your nose.
A second method of entry which is made use of is by appearing as genuine apparently useful applications or programs. The user then innocently downloads the software thinking that it is a utility to beef up computer security or web browser speed. Many are fooled this way and allow these threats entry as trusted programs.
Web browsers have gaps within their security net which Spyware target. When you go online and land on the site containing such a malicious intruder, it is able to get onto the computer system via the browser and install itself.
Some Spyware is bundled with legitimate software. Installing this clean software onto your system, the Spyware gets installed simultaneously.
Very often these kinds of computer threats do not operate in isolation, but often form part of an attack by more than one intruder. Besides affecting computer performance and destroying valuable stored information, they often collect and record information about your personal information such as IDs, password and bank details. This gets transmitted back to its developer.
There are many professionals around who have the tools necessary to remove these destructive threats from your computer systems. Seek their assistance whenever you suspect that your computer might have been subjected to an attack.