Tuesday, May 08, 2007

What is Adware / Spyware? how to Prevent Adware / Spyware?

Are you a frequent Internet user? Do you download and use many free software and applications from internet? If YES, then be aware that your information may be stolen without your knowledge. Understand that those information that you willingly give may be sold to third parties.

Programs capture your personal information

Most of the free programs and software that you download from internet fall under any of the following Categories; Shareware, Demoware, Freeware or Adware. Among these Adware is usually the most doubtful and dangerous program. Adware stands for Advertisement + Software. Hence, if you install a downloaded program that is an 'Adware' then you will see many advertisements on your computer. And your personal information will be sent to these advertising companies by this adware automatically.

When you install these adware software it will bring you to that company's website to register with your personal information before you can use the software. This is called 'Registration for software activation'. To activate such software you HAVE to give your personal particulars. This information that you submit to such companies will be later sold to third parties.

Your information is stolen through websites:

Many websites and programs that you download and install will monitor your activities when you are connected to the internet. For example, details like which websites you frequently access and which links you click. Based on this collected information you will be judged and categorised and you will be sent SPAM emails that target your interest.

A frequent trick used by these softwares it to show a 1x1 pixel GIF image which is invisible to your eyes. But this GIF file will contain Scripting Code that does all these spying activities.

How to prevent spyware and Adware?

Some wrongly think that they do not have any valuable information about them and therefore do not need to worry about their information being stolen. Even your email address is a very important piece of information to these thieves. They will sell this email address to third parties who will send you SPAM emails. So instead of receiving hundreds of SPAM emails daily, you can try to prevent this from happening. Isn't it?

Download and install an 'Adware Remover' software in your computer. You can use Lavasoft software in your computer. Lavasoft's 'Ad-Aware' is a popular adware removal software which can be downloaded from www.lavasoftusa.com .

Install a Firewall in your computer. If you have a single computer, then a software firewall is sufficient to protect your computer. Many companies sell software firewalls. But you do not need sophisticated firewall. You can download and install a free firewall, Zone Alarm from the website www.zonelabs.com .

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