Spyware refers to a specific type of illegal software that can either display unwanted advertisements or track your personal information, all without your knowledge or consent. One of the more serious dangers of spyware is that it can collect information about you, including your web surfing habits and even worse, your usernames and passwords. Apparently, spyware is deadly to your PC or yourself, but we will explore ways that you can protect yourself from it.
Some Common Spyware Symptoms If you notice your PC running slower than usual or exhibiting any other unusual behavior, it may be a sign of spyware. Spyware can bounce back emails or send emails without your knowledge. It can also appear to “haunt” your PC, opening your CD drives or placing unknown icons on your desktop.
Avoid Phishing Scams “Phishing” is the attempt to collect sensitive data (usernames, passwords, secure financial information) while appearing to be a reliable and legitimate entity. Phishing scams often find their way to your Inbox in the form of e-mails (or as an instant message) from auction sites or social networking sites, etc. The e-mails link to sites that look almost identical to the legitimate site.
Refrain from downloading an e-mail attachment without knowing who the email is from. In Point Of Fact, we would go as far to suggest not opening every single attachment from trusted sources too. Therefore what do you do? You can not handle every email as suspect, can you? Certainly you can, but you don’t have to be paranoid. Your best bet is to simply read read the email. Presumably, you know your contacts to some degree and can be able to tell if something in the body of the email sounds fishy. If you are not sure, best to call the person and ask!
Luckily, emails are getting safer and safer. The majority of email providers use complex filters that do their best to ensure reliable transmission of emails. Providers all give you the choice to scan your email attachments before downloading, but you want to use the right judgement in sending out your sensitive information to questionable web sites. In fact, if in doubt do not reply to the email.