If you are like over ninety percent of Internet users today, you have spyware on your computer. Recent studies show that almost nine out of ten people have spyware in some form on their computer. However, not all spyware is bad and most people are surprised to find out that spyware isn’t even illegal. In some cases it can even be extremely helpful. In some cases it is a net benefit, even to those who unwillingly download it.
A valuable and positive use for spyware is for parents to monitor their children when they are online. Various kinds of information can easily be recorded by these programs, including web sites visited, and actual words typed on the keyboard. These are also known as keylogger programs. If you are worried about your son or daughter visiting a dangerous site, then this would be extremely beneficial. For example, you could monitor what is being typed in various Internet chat conversations.
Another positive use for spyware is in offices on either a dedicated machine or shared machines. Of course, while you’re at work, you’re supposed to be working, and not wasting valuable time goofing off on the Internet. With the economy as tough as it is, it makes sense that companies would like to squeeze every valuable cent they can out of their employees.
Another net benefit is for programmers to get some revenue for some of the software that they develop. Many software that is developed by individuals is offered for free, at least up front. When people download certain software programs that doesn’t require any money, it often comes with spyware that can generate some revenue for the software developer. Many of these software programs let you know up front that there is spyware involved in the “free” download. This is good for you, as you are getting some free software, and good for the developers, as they are getting a little bit of revenue for their efforts.
Of course, not all people and developers are so forthcoming with the attachment of spyware to their products. You should always beware whenever you download “free” software. Often times there is some kind of spyware hidden inside. Despite piggy backing into your system, most spyware doesn’t really do much damage to your computer. Only when you have many programs running at once does it present a problem.
Naturally, there is a negative side to spyware. Some kinds of spyware can be particularly frustrating if you download it by accident. Many spyware programs are developed specifically to be hard to find unless you have some cutting edge software to get rid of it. If you happen to download some potentially dangerous software, uninstalling the program it came with may be the only option. If that fails to generate the desired result, then you can try one of the many available programs designed to find and remove spyware and adware.