There are many different classifications of malware and indeed spyware could be sub-categorized on many different levels.
This section of the site is going to look at the most common and most dangerous types. These are small programs which sit on your computer waiting for you to go online.
As a last note, remember that when you use public Wi Fi, your information is not secure and it’s easy for hackers to steal.
So never submit personal information when using public Wi Fi (passwords, credit card information, bank logins, etc.).
This data is then sold on to marketing companies who will send you more junk email and popup ads than you ever thought possible. These install themselves on your computer and change your default homepage and search engine to something else.
Every time you start your web browser it will bring you to a page filled with ads, porn or other unwanted material.
Computer users need to be pro-active in this regard.
Scan your PC with a high quality spyware removal program *at least* once per month. There is one piece of harmless spyware – the Alexa toolbar.
This information is then sold on to marketing companies. When you log in to your online banking these can record your PIN number.
Keyboard loggers are one of the most damaging pieces of spyware because of the potential financial dangers. I know of one case where a 10 year old boy used a keyboard logger to steal his fathers credit card and banking information. A dialer is a small piece of software that will dial long distance, premium rate phone numbers when you’re not at your PC.
These phone numbers are normally for adult chat line services located in Russia, China, South America and the Phillipines.
The mere act of having to scan your system for these files is an annoying but necessary part of computer life in the new Millenium.
A common misconception amongst many computer users is that simply finding and deleting the adware files on your PC will prevent it from happening again.
Once the adware detects that you’re connected to the Internet it starts sending you popup, popover and pop-under ads for anything from airline tickets to porn site membership.