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Great Lakes Internet Tech Center

Spyware and You (***Note***)

Firstly, we need to know: What is spyware?

Spyware, malware or adware is defined as any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet.Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.

What Can I Do About Spyware?

Many of the newest versions of the most common security programs like Panda, McAfee, and Norton's combine antivirus, firewall, popup blocking and anti-spyware features. However, these are subscription services and must be maintained if you want to get the best results out of them. There are two free programs that we have used and do use that you can download and scan your computer with. These are Spybot and AdAware. It is important to note that both the subscription service, or the free ones, like most tools, if you do not learn how to use them, the do little to help.

If you use one of the listed programs, learn how to keep it updated, and use it to remove spyware one or more times a week this should help reduce the impact spyware will have on you and your computer.