How Does Spyware Sneak onto My Computer?

How Does Spyware Sneak onto My Computer?

Spyware gets onto your computer through a variety of sneaky techniques:

  • It arrives as an automatic download from a website you are surfing. This is called drive-by downloading . If you visit naughty websites , those sites are probably your chief source of spyware.

  • You can be tricked into clicking on a link that downloads spyware from a website. Those browser windows that pop up telling you that you've won a prize are a prime example.

  • Spyware can be embedded in the installation process of a free or pirated piece of software you download. File sharing programs, such as Kazaa, are known for including a variety of spyware programs with their installers .

  • Spyware can also get on your computer via an email attachment you shouldn't have opened. It often comes as an attachment to commercial email, also called spam .

Internet Downloads that might Contain Spyware

Here are the kinds of files that you can download from the Internet that might contain spyware:

  • Toolbars for your desktop or web browser

  • Free games , puzzles, or other interactive entertainment

  • Free screensavers or animated characters (see Figure 2.1) for your computer's desktop

  • Free pop-up blocker programs

  • Files downloaded from file-sharing services

Note: Not all free downloads contain spyware. Many programmers release their programs free for the good of the Internet community and they are spyware-free.

Figure 2.1. Bonzi Buddy is an animated monkey that can act as a fun talking virtual helper. The software, however, is a well-known piece of spyware.

Absolute Beginners Guide To. Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
Absolute Beginners Guide to Security, Spam, Spyware & Viruses
ISBN: 0789734591
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 168

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