How Do I Check for Spyware On Computer ?
Spyware certainly has become a major problem on the internet today for both home and business computers. Originally, advertisers came up with the idea that by tracking a persons surfing habits, it would not only help advertisers immensely, but would also help consumers by showing them ads they were most interested in seeing.
What advertisers didn't count on at the time was that the majority of people found the idea of someone tracking their surfing habits offensive which subsequently pushed the idea underground - and behind closed doors. Instead of being up front with computer users about installing programs that would track surfing habits - less the scrupulous companies began to hide their tracking software in other programs such as file sharing clients ( napster, kazaa ) and freeware software.
Realistically though, spyware that only tracks usage for advertising effectiveness is really only offensive in principle rather then an actual threat. But before long, spyware became the proverbial back door to a users computer - and the threat of data and identity theft.
Spyware now represents a real threat to both commercial and home computer users. Although most advertising based spyware is simply designed to increase advertising performance - it also has created a real system vulnerability when it comes to hackers and back door intruders. The result is that your personal information can be at risk.
At the very least, computer spyware robs your system of processing speed and memory which ultimately inhibits the performance of your computer.
One of the biggest threats from spyware is the installation of self executing software that once in your system, begins to change your computer's internal settings including opening what is known as back doors to your computer. As you likely have guessed, the reason they are opening this access to your system is so more programs can install themselves on your computer. These can range from simple browser hijackers to highly dangerous worms that are designed to find your personal information such as bank account numbers, user names and passwords. As you can imagine, the potential threat to your personal information can range from moderate to extreme.
The good news is that protecting your system from spyware is a relatively easy thing to achieve through the use of a quality spyware software application on your computer. The best spyware program I've come across is a program called Identity Patrol by Patrol Software Labs. Interestingly, the program was actually created as a tool to prevent digital identity theft, and in doing so, have created the most powerful anti-spyware application on the web.
In my testing of the product, it was the only program that detected two hidden key logger programs and a parental monitoring software application we installed as test subjects. To see their own testing of the software against the leading spyware removal products on the web, click here.