Is Someone Spying on You?
By Tim O’Toole
Spyware is software or hardware installed on a computer without the user's knowledge which gathers information about that user for later retrieval. There are two types of spyware: surveillance spyware and advertising spyware.
Surveillance software includes key loggers, screen capture devices, and trojans. These can be used by corporations, private detectives, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, etc. to monitor your activities on the computer.
Advertising software is often installed without the user's knowledge, or without full disclosure that it will be used for gathering personal information from the user. Advertising spyware creates a log containing information about the user. Everything from passwords, website history, online buying habits, and even your name, age, and sex is stored in the log and sent back to agencies monitoring your computer.
Aside from privacy issues, spyware will also display banner advertisements on your computer, based on your website history. Because spyware is constantly running, it will drain resources from your computer, causing it to run slower. This could also affect your Internet connection speed.
So how can you protect yourself from spyware? The answer is simple: install AntiSpyware software. The two best options are both available to download online. Your first option is to download the new beta software from Microsoft. To obtain this software, visit the Windows AntiSpyware website (click here to view) and follow the instructions.
The second option is to download the Yahoo! Toolbar by visiting toolbar.yahoo.com. The Yahoo! Toolbar is an add-on to Internet Explorer that includes AntiSpyware software. Also packaged with the toolbar is a pop-up blocker, a search feature, and links to your favorite Yahoo! features.
Download these programs today, and prevent unwanted individuals from spying on you.
About the Author
Tim O’Toole is the Director of Marketing, Education, and Information Technology for the MCAA. He has a Masters in Business Administration from Webster University and has worked in the masonry industry since 2003.