and what it is doing to your Computer
1. The average home PC contains 30 pieces of spyware according
to an audit carried out in 2006 by security company Webroot
Software. The type of infections range from the relatively
harmless adware programs to malicious system monitors and trojan
horses. Adware programs are software installations that display
advertisements. System monitors are much more malicious and track
a computer user's Internet activity and capture personal
information. Trojan Horse is the name given to malicious software
which, although harmless itself, opens the way for more malicious
software to be installed. Webroot Software found that, on average,
the 30 pieces of spyware would contain at least 1 system monitor
and 1 trojan horse.
2. Your identity can be a few mouse clicks away for criminals.
Spyware can gather and report all the personal information about
you including credit card numbers, bank account details, user
names and passwords. According to The Identity Theft Resource
Center, 13.3 people in the U.S. become victims of identity theft
every minute. Although not all of these are due to spyware, it's
still a chilling thought that it can happen so easily if your PC
is infected with this kind of malicious software.
3. Spyware can slow down you computer. Any computer has a
limited amount of system resources. Every time another piece of
software is run the computer must share out its resources ever
more thinly. Malicious software infections result in longer boot
times and an overall slowing down of the PCs performance.
4. Spyware can dramatically slow down your Internet
connection. Every Internet connection has a limited amount of data
it can transfer at any one time. All spyware communicates with the
Internet thereby using up some of your available Internet
communication. The more spyware, the more Internet communication
will take place and the less space on your Internet connection for
your own use.
5. Spyware can turn you into a 'spammer'. Some
spyware can download other software on to your PC that can relay
Spam. In some cases this may lead to your Internet connection being
blocked altogether if your ISP (Internet provider) traces instances
of Spam to you.
6. Spyware can easily be installed on your computer
without your knowledge. In some cases just one piece of Spyware can
lead to many, many more as the initial infection downloads and
installs other malicious software stealthily in the background.
7. Spyware can allow hackers to control your PC.
Some versions install 'backdoors' to your PC that can allow someone
from the outside to connect to your PC over the Internet and take
full control of its use. Your PC can then be turned in to a 'zombie'
that sends out spam, Trojan horses and computer viruses in their
8. Some Spyware removal programs install Spyware.
Why would they do that? In order to hide their own spying software.
Think about it. You install an Anti-Spyware program to protect
yourself against Spyware. The bogus Anti-Spyware program sweeps your
PC for all Spyware except it's own secret list of allowed spy
software. You think it's doing a great job and feel secure in using
your PC when all the while secret spy software is sending out spam
or monitoring your use looking for personal details. See
spywarewarrior.com for a list of bogus Spyware removal software.
9. The best Anti-Spyware program only finds 90% of
Spyware. Check out the review of Anti-Spyware software in any PC
Magazine and you'll find that none of them detect any more than 90%
and most cannot remove more than 80%. Don't be fooled in to thinking
it's not worth using any Anti-Spyware programs, after-all 90% is a
whole lot better than 0% which would be the detection rate without
the Anti-Spyware software.
10. Many computer users resort to wiping their PC
and re-installing everything again in order to rid their system of
Spyware. While this will do the trick, there is no guard against
re-infection and can be a waste of time or lead to a loss of
important data. After the system is back in use it may only be a
matter of minutes before it's infected again