Spyware Remover

April 22, 2009

in privacy & security

by David Hakala

Computer security firm Symantec Corp. recently reported that it identified two-and-a-half times more malicious software programs in 2008 than in the previous year: more than 1.6 million different examples of malware that is trying to invade your computer. The most common functions performed by malware are:

1. Remote access software
2. Programs that export user data
3. Keystroke loggers

All three are examples of spyware: software that attempts to spy upon you, transmitting to strangers what you do online and what’s on your disk drives. The object is to obtain sensitive information that can be used for identity theft or fraud, such as Social Security Numbers, bank account information, passwords to secured financial services sites, etc.

Victims of spyware often need to spend years and thousands of dollars repairing their credit; closing old bank and credit card accounts and opening new ones; fighting fraudulent charges to their accounts; and even obtaining ironclad proof that they are not the criminals who did these things to them. It is vital to protect yourself against spyware.

A “spyware remover” is a program that scans your disk drives and Internet traffic to detect known spyware by its distinctive software “signature” – the patterns of bits and bytes that make up a program. A spyware remover then lists all the spyware it finds and gives you the option to delete them or leave them alone, in case something is misidentified as spyware.

Major security software suites include anti-spyware components; Norton and Macafee are two examples. But these suites are expensive and consume a great deal of computer resources because they try to do many, many things. You can easily find a spyware remover does that does the job better than its generalist cousins, uses less CPU power and RAM, and best of all is free of charge for non-commercial use.

AdAware SE is a 10-year-old, very well developed security and privacy program that expunges most spyware. SpyBot – Search & Destroy – is a free program that specializes only in spyware removal. Advanced System Care 3 Home Edition roots out spyware. Avast! Antivirus detects and deletes spyware and other kinds of malicious software, protecting your Web browser, email program, and disk drives simultaneously. Give one of these programs a try!

David Hakala has perpetrated technology tutorials since 1988 in addition to committing tech journalism, documentation, Web sites, marketing collateral, and profitable prose in general. His complete rap sheet can be seen at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dhakala


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