A Brief Primer About Spyware Downloads
Michalis 'BIG Mike' Kotzakolios
Defined Tag: Spyware Downloads.
Computers are wonderful, and the further invention of the World Wide Web goes with home computers like peanut butter and jelly: the two are sheer perfection together. Yet sadly enough, there are many people in the world who would utilize the internet to harm your computer for kicks, or they would steal information from you. These two actions are effected by spyware downloads.
Technically speaking, when you download things from a website, they're not called spyware downloads, but rather just downloads. The spyware itself is embedded -that is, hidden within the song, video, or whatever else you might download onto your computer, and this is not to say that every download is so infected.
Very often you will be completely unaware of the spyware downloads, and only after a period of time will you realize that you've taken on a program that you don't want. This can begin with a simple assessment of your online surfing habits, information which is then sent to a company that collects demographic information. This type of spyware is rather non-harmful.
To raise the bar a bit from this, there are more insidious programs. The least harmful of these will simply annoy you by repeatedly sending pop-up ads, even if you are off-line and your modem is disabled (which is one of the tell-tale signs that you've been infected). Often the pop-ups will reflect your own online shopping or browsing habits, and for this reason, many people don't seem to mind this annoyance so much.
The problem of spyware downloads escalates, however, in two very dramatic ways. The first of these is destruction of your hard-drive. This is not to say that your CPU will melt in front of you. The hardware itself is physically untouched. However, any information that you have on your memory can be destroyed, which is why backup discs are always a necessity. The only bright side to this is that, unlike a virus, you generally cannot spread spyware to other computers.
Even more egregious is the theft of your information. This goes beyond privacy issues, as with someone reading your emails. In this day and age, more and more people are making purchases online, which necessitates the use of your credit card, your bank account number, and any of other vital data that may be tucked away in your hard drive. If your computer has been infected, all of this is then available to persons who sent you the nasty software in the first place.
It is for this reason that it is important to not maintain such information on your computer and never, ever download anything from a website, unless you're positive that it's safe.
BIG Mike is a well known author, developer and Adsense expert as well as the owner of Niche Maniacs - a unique Adsense Marketing System designed to build long-term passive income streams from Adsense, Amazon, YPN, Chitika and other PPC services.