Every person who has used a computer must have definitely at one point of their computer usage faced losing crucial information to viruses or spyware. Spyware is a kind of software that is installed on a computer to spy on it. It keeps a watch on the activities of the computer user and records it. Spyware collects information about an individual or company without their coming to know about it.
There are various ways in which a spyware records activities. Some spywares record information that you type into websites or programs. They record your keystrokes and use it for either identity theft or advertising purposes. They claim control over a computer without the user’s know-how and are usually difficult to discover. Spyware are generally installed into your computer from free games, animated cursors, or screen savers.
Virus, on the other hand, is a malware program that replicates itself when it is executed. It inserts replicas of itself into other programs in a computer, data files or in the boot sector of a hard disk till the time it succeeds in creating many copies of itself in the computer, thus infecting the computer. Viruses usually reduce the space in the hard disk, corrupts data, accesses private information, and so on.
How can one tell that a computer is infected with spyware and viruses? You know that your computer is infected with spyware or virus, if you:
- see new links, toolbars, and favorites that you did not add to your browser.
- enter the address of a particular website and are taken somewhere else.
- find unexpected changes in your home page, search program, or mouse pointer.
- discover your computer functioning very slowly.
- see popup advertisements appearing, even when the computer is not connected to the Internet.
There are various ways in which a computer can get infected by a spyware or virus. The following are some of the ways.
- Accepting things without reading and understanding what is being asked or said.
- Reading e-mail attachments without scanning for viruses.
- Using a program or an operating system which is not up-to-date can lead to your computer becoming infected. The reason for this is that latest updates are usually security ones.
- Using plug-ins that is not the latest version can lead to security problems.
- Downloading and using pirated music, software, or movies can lead to spyware and viruses from attacking your computer.
- Running a computer without any antivirus and spyware software can lead to it getting infected. Without such protection, you can neither clean the computer from infection nor prevent any future infection from attacking the system.
- Downloading software that is already infected. You need to always download software from a source that is reliable.
It is necessary to avoid such mistakes from taking place. For this, the services of a good IT firm is required. At computer support, they strive to prevent such disasters from occurring by providing virus and spyware removal services.
Spyware and viruses can affect your computer anytime. Sometimes, the computer might show some symptoms. While at others, you might not even know that it is infected. Therefore, it is important to take steps to protect your computer and your privacy at all times before any calamity takes place.