Spyware, an internet-borne threat, can, and does, go nearly undetected for long periods of time on many computer systems. In fact, most people that have spyware-infected computers don’t realize their systems are infected. Spyware secretly tracks or records information about you, your computer, sites you visit and other personal information found on your computer. In fact, it is extremely easy for spyware programs to steal your identity and leave your system vulnerable to whoever might wish to access it. So, how do you get rid of it? As spyware is, unfortunately, a very common problem today, there several great spyware removal programs available, you just have to know where to find them.
Why does spyware exist?
There are basically three reasons why spyware exists:
1. Marketing data
Marketing is about recording information on the programs installed on your computer and every web site you visit. By recording where you go and which programs you have on your machine, marketing agencies build a profile about you without your knowledge with intention of marketing their product or service to you or helping others do the same.
Hacking is essentially breaking into your computer system using spyware such as keyloggers, which track your every keystroke enabling potential hackers to steal passwords, credit card numbers and social security numbers as you type them. If you’ve got a keylogger in your system, it can and will steal information even if your browser is in a secure session. Government and corporate hacking has also become a problem. When spyware installs itself in a corporate environment, important documents can be stolen and used to gain information.
Although it may sound harsh, because many hackers and others with malicious intent embed spyware in games and other children’s downloads, your children’s activities could be the reason you might find spyware on your computer.
Where can you find spyware removal programs?
The internet is a great resource for finding spyware removal programs. Some sites offer free anti-spyware downloads while others require a one-year subscription and payment. Here are some reliable spyware removal programs to choose from:
Spyblocker: Spyblocker not only protects a system from the usual adware, spyware and pop threats; it also allows the user to block adware and spyware modules as well as tracking cookies and Google ads. It is designed to help secure third party communications and files as well. You can download it from their website immediately for as low as $19.95, with more expensive options available for purchase as well.
Panda Security Suite: Panda Security Suite is an inexpensive, all-in-one solution featuring the spyware triple threat: a firewall/anti-virus/anti-spyware program. You can install one copy onto as many as four computers; subscriptions run a minimum of 6 months at $53.97 for the basic program and get more sophisticated from there. Panda is also available on a free, 30-day trial offer basis.
Lavasoft’s Ad-Aware: This is a free, thorough spyware removal program that scans the computer memory, registry and hard drive to eliminate any spyware components safely. Ad-Aware is the best program of its kind on the market.There are other versions as well for as little as $39.95 for a one year subscription.
PestPatrol by Safersite: Now known as CA Anti-Spyware 2009, this program is designed to find and eliminate hacker tools, spyware and Trojans from your personal and corporate computer networks. Hidden programs can break security codes and compromise any personal data you have as well as employee personal data.
If your computer starts exhibiting strange behaviors such as spontaneous shutdowns, unusual pop up ads and system slowdowns, you probably have an infected computer. Spyware can come from a variety of sources including downloads and security holes in your internet browser. Removing spyware as quickly as possible once you realize it’s on your system and making sure that you have a good anti-virus program installed on your system are the keys for keeping your information and your computer free of spyware.