What is Spyware?Butte College (www.bctv.butte.edu/support/spyware.html)
offers this definition:
"The term ‘spyware’ is broadly defined as any program that gets into your computer without permission and hides in the background while it makes unwanted changes to your user experience.
Spyware is generally not designed to damage your computer. The damage it does is more a by-product of its main mission, which is to serve you targeted advertisements or make your browser display certain sites or search results.
At present, most spyware targets only the Windows operating system (Internet Explorer)."
To be fair, spyware can be harmless, for example tracking cookies don’t do much. While such things infringe on your privacy, they don't really harm anything. Others, however, are extremely dangerous.
The list of top 6 anti spyware tools
No anti spyware program seems to do everything, but there are a lot of goods solutions out there that can help. Here is a list of some of the top Spyware tools to look at:
1) Try Ad-Aware 6.0 Professional from LavaSoft (there is also a free version with less functionality, but also very useful and effective)
2) Spybot Search & Destroy from PepiMK Software
3) Xoftspy form Pareto Logic
4) Pest Patrol (now part of Computer Associates by acquisition)
5) Spyware Guard from Javacool Software is a free program
6) McAfee Anti-Spyware program
The difference between spyware and viruses
One thing is for certain: you do need to take spyware seriously. For some reason, too many people out there think anti-virus solutions are the end-all solution. They are not. Because they don't deal with spyware problem and often can't detect it.
While computer virus can and often does attack computer system openly (therefore being immediately and more noticeable), spyware on the other hand tend to work quietly in the background, and often goes unnoticed until it's done its damage. Any of the above mentioned ani spyware programs are very effective in uncovering spyware on your computer.
And, when all else fails?
Finally, as drastic as it seems, if your computer has been infected with a large number of spyware programs, the only solution you may have is backing up your data, and performing a complete reinstall of the operating system.
Site last updated: 7. January 2021