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Spyware:
See Also:  Computer Trojans   Worms   Rootkits

Spyware is on the rise and becoming more complicated at avoiding detection as each day passes. These pieces of code are getting better at hijacking your personal information and spying on your online movements.

If you think your Anti-Spyware is working fine since you installed it in the last couple of weeks it could be out of date and completely miss the new baddies on the Internet. If you have no Anti-Spyware then it is essential you get some immediately. Most of the Top Names in Anti-Spyware are well up for the job and keep their products up to the task of these nasties.

Usually spyware can intall quietly only needing a small piece of code. This code can evolve each time the unsuspecting user connects to the internet. From then on it can gain more power over the computer and steal personal information etc.

Unlike Viruses and Worms, spyware does not copy itself usually. The main gain for this type of infection is for commercial gain. However a Worm can actually drop spyware to an unsuspecting system.
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Adware:
Though not the stuff of nightmares like a Virus or Spyware, it can be an absolutely depressing nuisence. These are usually the pop-ups and adds that just wont go away. In a real world, view them as annoying calls to your home door again and again. But remember Spyware will go round the back of your house and try to breakin. As stated previously on this site the safe way to view them all Viruses, Spyware, and Adware is to treat them all as Viruses because you dont want them no matter what they do.
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The Ways Of Infection:

Shareware:
The user downloads a specific program etc and when installed the program they intended runs fine but the spyware that is bundled with it can run maliciously. Spyware vendors can actually highjack a good bundled program and embed their spyware inside (Trojan), the user thinks they installed a good brand and find the spyware has taken over.

Piggybacking:
Similar to shareware the difference being that the software being used as a host is unaware. As for shareware the company will be aware and paid by the spyware vendors on many occasions.

Trick You To Click:

This happens on websites that you maybe visiting etc. The site may throw up Pop-Ups and ask you to click something. When you click the link, button etc you will then allow some script to run on the webpage and this may well infect you with the spyware. Browser Highjack is one of the simplest. It changes your default homepage with a simple change of your registry. When you then connect to the internet this new page will be accessed and the download of spyware may begin.

Drive-by Download:
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Similar to the Trick You To Click, these spyware vendors have a great knowledge of legitimate Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware programs. While you are online you may visit one of these sites and they will be able to show an error message on your machine that you think has been generated by your own machine. Then when you deal with the error by clicking something and the spyware executes into action etc.
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