Is your computer been running slower than normal? Are you worried someone may be able to access your computer and steal your private information and use it against you? If so, these are feelings I have shared with you in the past.
Some time back, my 3-year old computer was running so slow that I had to buy a new computer. Or at least I thought I needed a new computer. Then within a matter of weeks of surfing on the Internet, my new computer was also running so slowly. In addition, some programs did not run well on my computer, and I did not recognize some of the programs that were running on my computer. That scared me most. Were these programs that were tracking my keystrokes on my computer or programs I just not remember installing? I knew I had to find a answer and solution fast.
The truth is, we can all put up with a slow computer, but very few of us would want others to have access to the information on our computers, but that is exactly what can happen when spyware or malware is loaded on our computers without our knowledge.
According to Spyware Nuker’s web site, “Spyware applications are programs and files that hide on your PC's hard drive without your direct knowledge. These programs allow hackers and advertising companies to track your every move, both online and even when you work offline. They can track the websites you visit, the items that you buy online, the emails you send and receive, your Instant Message dialog, and worst of all they can even record your credit card number, personal identification numbers, and all of your passwords. If you use dial-up to connect to the Internet then spyware can be used to bill 900 numbers to your phone bill. This is just a short list of the harm that spyware can cause.”
The web site also provides statistics that show spyware is a huge problem effecting many people. "27.3 million Americans have been victims of identity theft in the last five years, including 9.91 million people or 4.6% of the population in the last year alone."
In addition, it is very easy for your computer to become infected with spyware as "The majority of all downloadable games, music, screensavers, etc., can infect your computer with SpyWare or AdWare. Most people do not know that after simply clicking on a random "pop up" ad, their computers may have been infected with SpyWare or AdWare."
No matter how we get spyware, here are 10 very real reasons you don’t want spyware on your computer.
1. Your computer may start running slower
2. Some programs on your computer will not run correctly
3. You may not recognize programs that are now on your computer because they may have been installed there by a spyware related web site or program you loaded on your computer.
In addition, you might be worried that:
4. Someone might be able to read your e-mails
5. Someone might be able to access your e-mail list
6. Someone might be able to see you track the keystrokes you type
7. Someone might be able to access your credit card information on your pc
8. Someone might be able to access your passwords list on your computer
9. Someone might be able to steal your social security number
10. Someone might be able to track all the web sites you visit
As I mentioned, most of these programs get on your computer with out you even knowing, but another frustrating part is I recognized a few of these programs because I remember installing AND uninstalling them! So now I know that when we install some of these handy little utilities to track passwords online or programs to help with e-mail or keep track of the weather, even if we uninstall them, they may not be gone from our computers. They are still in our computers, waiting to spy on us, at the least.
A great way to find and remove spyware is to run a spyware detector and remover. Most spyware detection and removal software today offers a free scan to verify that you do or do not have spyware on your computer.