Arming your computer against spyware is an important move to make to protect your personal security and private information. Statistics on the number of identity theft victims continue to rise as do the number of computers being infected with spyware. Some numbers have shown nine out of ten computers are affected by spyware, many on computer whose users are unaware of the infection. Identity theft and spyware are connected in that spyware has become a common method for intruders to gather your personal information and bank numbers so they can commit identity theft.
Spyware installs itself or comes installed with freeware and shareware programs. Once embedded in your computer it tracks your internet and software usages, records sent and received email and instant messages and logs keystrokes to identify passwords and credit card numbers. The information is sent out to advertisers or other intruders who will use it to bombard your computer with ads or at worst steal and use your accounts.
You will often lose complete control over your computer once spyware has been installed. The spyware can cause browser crashes and other unauthorized changes in your computer. The unwanted pop up ads that result from spyware can cause the computer to work slower and possible destroy some programs from being able to run. Spyware specific tools are needed to rid of and protect against spyware because normal anti-virus software is not designed to detect spyware, as it is unique from viruses. Spyware programs should also be able to detect adware, a similar application that runs on your computer by sending a constant stream of pop ups. Adware can be dangerous to the proper functioning of your computer.