Imagine yourself walking along a busy street, minding your own business. You stop by a men’s clothing store. You look at the window display, point at a new pair of shoes. After a few minutes of gawking at the window display you move on home.
As you go inside your house, you noticed a flyer on your porch. The flyer is on the exact pair of shoes that you saw in the men’s store. How did they know? Was it coincidence? If this all happened in the internet, then it’s probably not a coincidence. Your computer has been watched and your “movement” in the Web has been recorded. Your operating system has some spyware in it.
Spyware are computer programs that attach themselves in whatever things you download online. They are designed to track you wherever you go online. Spyware is a little different from adware. Adware are also referred to as freeware and are basically ads that pop-up when you open a website or webpage or open a program.
Spyware are similar in that they are also freeware, however, spyware programs have embedded tracking mechanisms which report your activity in the internet to the spyware agent which in turn provides the information to advertisers and web developers. With this information, advertisers and web developers and even the government can feed your computers with any information they want without your consent and even without you noticing it.
It is best, therefore that you employ some precautionary measures yourselves to stay free from spyware and adware attacks. First you need to disable auto installation of software programs in your internet browsers and you need use pop-up blockers and firewall protection.
This is your first line of defense against such spyware programs. The next thing to do is to get decent anti-spyware programs. It shouldn’t be too hard, there are a lot of them nowadays and most of them are free or at the very least have free trial accounts.
Among the most popular free anti-spyware and adware programs are Ad Aware and Active Shield. Ad Aware offers advanced protection against Data-mining, Parasites, aggressive advertising, Scumware and some traditional viruses and tracking systems like Trojans, Dialers, Malware and Browser hijackers. Active Shield on the other hand targets trojans and spyware.
Other popular anti-spyware software include Spy-Ad Exterminator Free which searches the computer’s memory, hard drives, and registry for spyware, adware, worms, hijacks, keyloggers, among others; Spy Cleaner Lite which identifies and removes programs that has been covertly installed in your systems; Spyware Doctor is an advanced adware and spyware removal program; Free Spyware Scanner tells the user how their computer got infected and the best solution for spyware removal; Doctor Alex Antispyware; Spyware Begone; 1-2-3 Spyware Free; and Easy Spyware Scanner.
Most of the time, these anti-spyware scanners and removal utilities will locate spyware and adware in your computer and will delete, ignore, or quarantine each and every one of them. Some anti-spyware programs will remove spyware automatically while other provides a user interface option where you can customize specific actions the anti-spyware would perform.
Some other popular spyware removal software includes Anti-Hijacker, Spyware & Adware Removal, Max Secure Spyware Detector, and Deluxe Spy-Kill utilities. These are just some of the more popular spyware removal software. It’s up to you which one you choose, but try to look for reputable ones. Look at reviews and ask for referrals from friends.