An important caution, here.
Generally, Virus detection and removal programs DO NOT find and remove SpyWare.
So Beware, just as Jim Edwards found out, it's probably already in your computer,
"Is Spyware Watching You?"
We recently read this article in
our regular newsletter from Jim Edwards.
He is a syndicated newspaper columnist and plans to publish it as
one of his regular newspaper columns. (http://www.TheNetReporter.com)
This is what he wrote:
Is "Spyware" Watching You?
- by Jim Edwards
© Jim Edwards - All Rights reserved
Imagine my surprise when I received a phone call from a
who told me he'd been the victim of a "spyware" attack that
left him shaking at his loss of privacy.
I listened to his horror story with a sympathetic ear, but I
felt secure since I carry anti-virus software and a firewall
(both by Norton).
At his suggestion - and to my surprise - I ran a program
called "Spy Sweeper" and found a veritable minefield of
dangerous and harmful programs lurking on my computer.
"Spyware" is software that gets onto your computer and
literally "spies" on your activities.
tracking you across multiple websites... to extremely
dangerous "keystroke loggers" which record passwords, credit
cards, and other personal data. That data then gets relayed to
the person who put the software on your computer.
Three primary types of spyware exist to complicate your
online life, including:
3. malicious programs like "keystroke
Cookies represent mostly a danger of lost privacy.
In theory, someone could use a "cookie" to track you across
multiple sites, combine that data with several databases, and
figure out a lot more information about you than would make
"Adware" tracks more than just your movement across sites, it
spies on your installed software and computer habits to then
serve up advertising, modify websites before you see them, and
generally do things without your knowledge with the intention
of trying to get you to buy things.
"Keystroke loggers" and other malicious programs exist for one
purpose: to cause personal mayhem and financial damage.
Spyware gets on your computer in one of several different
First, it rides along with software you download from the 'Net
and install on your system.
Second, they come as email attachments (much like viruses)
and automatically install themselves on your computer when
you open the email message.
Third, hackers find an open port on your computer and use
the "back door" to install basically anything they want.
And fourth, the more malicious types, like keystroke
loggers, can even get installed by someone with direct
physical access to your computer such as an employer,
suspicious spouse, business competitor, or someone who
wants to know exactly what you're doing.
Now, suppose you carry an up-to-date anti-virus program and
a firewall - shouldn't that represent adequate protection?
In a word: NO!
I can personally attest that even the most up-to-date anti-virus programs and firewalls will not
(repeat, WILL NOT)
catch all the spyware that can infest your computer.
You need a program that specifically scans your system for
the tens-of-thousands of existing spyware programs along
with the new ones appearing daily.
Check out "Spy Sweeper" from webroot.com - this is the
program I used to discover the spyware on my computer.
One thing I noticed, however, is that this program is a
memory hog, so once I scanned, I turned it off and then use it
2-3 times a week... not the best strategy, but I want to give
you the "whole" picture.
I also got the following recommendations from numerous
subscribers about 2 programs to specifically help identify and
remove spyware from your system (PC):
1. "Ad Aware" from
2. "Spybot Search & Destroy" from
The overwhelmingly recommended firewall suggested by readers
was Zone Alarm Pro from Zone Labs
The bottom line seems pretty simple (but lengthy) if you want
to protect yourself against this growing threat.
~ Keep your anti-virus program
~ Install a firewall
~ Carefully screen software before
~ Scan specifically for spyware
~ Stay current on this growing
-- Jim Edwards is a syndicated newspaper columnist
(http://www.TheNetReporter.com) and is the author of
several best-selling ebooks, information products and
programs. Here's a popular ebook that Jim wrote:
"How to Write and Publish Your
Own eBook...in as little as 7 days"
(even if you can't write, can't type and failed High
School English Class)
Use this link for your own copy:
a better understanding of keystroke loggers, both
software and hardware, be sure to visit our web pages
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About Personal Privacy
and Identity Theft
...Spyware removal tools are as important as
firewall and anti-virus packages these days.
Karagiannis, "Sweeping for Spies, Improved" PC Magazine September
90 Percent of PCs are infected with Spyware -
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