Spyware The Peeping Toms of the Web
While the internet is a great tool for research, or for just keeping in touch with e-mail or looking for a perfect gift, there is an annoying problem that is becoming increasingly dangerous for your computer. While everyone understands what a computer virus does, many people are still relatively unaware of the problem that is Spyware. Spyware is another word for Advertising Supported software (Adware). There are several large media companies that place banner ads and pop-ups on certain web pages in exchange for a portion of the revenue from banner sales. This is the front for the more harmful Spyware that almost always comes along with it behind the scenes. While the banner placement may be a great concept, the downside is that the advertising companies also install tracking software on your system, which is continuously "calling home" and using your Internet connection to report on everything on your computer and everywhere you go, and then reports this information back to the source program.
There is also the type of Spyware that can be intentionally downloaded to a computer. This type is most often used by parents or guardians to get a monthly report to find out all the various web sites people in their household have visited over the past month. In some Christian circles, a particular type of Spyware has become popular, where a certain group of friends will receive a monthly list of every web site visited in the past month, as an “accountability” thing. Otherwise, most Spyware is best removed from a computer as soon as it is found.
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