What is Spyware?
Spyware is a type of tracking software installed on your computer that gathers information about your browsing habits, such as websites you visit and how much time you spend there. Most spyware is installed without the user being aware. It can happen while downloading programs from the Internet or installing new software. Spyware may record private information such as usernames and passwords, or account and credit card numbers.
Signs Your Computer May be Infected with Spyware:
- Your web browser contains additional components such as new toolbars that you do not recall downloading
- Your computer has become slow and sluggish
- When you type the address of a specific website you are redirected to an unrelated website
- You see more pop-up ads than usual, even when your computer is not connected to the Internet
- You are unable to access programs such as your security software
Secure Your Computer:
- Set your browser security to medium or higher
- Never accept downloads from people or companies you don't know
- Thoroughly investigate software you intend to install
- Do not utilize file sharing services
- Install a personal PC firewall and malware protection
- Read licensing agreements before accepting - look out for language regarding information gathering or sharing