Most people seem to be oblivious to the real threat that spyware and adware pose personal computers. If you think about it, it’s the perfect crime. Where else can you steal without being seen, heard or even detected? Getting access to thousands of people’s personal information is what drives so many hackers who create very clever spyware with the sole purpose of seeing your personal information.
The first and most obvious threat is identity theft. Dr. Phil recently dedicate and entire show to the identity theft and highlighted the extents of this billion dollar crime. If you stop and think about it, how much of your life is stored on your computer? Can someone “recreate” you from that info? Photos, social security number, name, date of birth…even your medical history.
It’s amazing how these guys can sniff out your whole life story from a single threat of evidence. What’s even more scary is how they can get hold of and use your credit card information. Obviously money is one of the biggest drivers and most spyware will target getting your credit card information.
With new payment gateways like PayPal to accommodate the growing online sales machine, the threat increased exponentially and PayPal has been targeted by thousands of hackers and scammers, trying to gain access to personal information.
Unfortunately you can never protect yourself 100% just like you cannot protect yourself 100% against crime in the real world. But, you need to do all you can. Hackers are far more likely to go after easy targets and with millions of internet users surfing the web unprotected, there are plenty of soft targets.
So, how do you know if you have spyware on your computer? Well, most people probably won’t know. Unless you are an experienced internet user with a bit of know-how, you probably won’t even know that there are spyware on your computer.
Here are 5 of the most common telltale signs that your computer might be infected.
1. Does your internet browser start up with a different home page than your normal one?
2. Do you see an increase in advertising pop-ups?
3. Does your computer seem much slower or crash more than before?
4. Do you have unknown icons on your desktop?
5. Do you have “new” items on your web browser’s toolbar?
Although there are some more sophisticated spyware that won’t show any of these signs, by checking these 5 you will at least become aware of the problem. It’s vitally important that you remove all the adware and spyware that might be lurking on your computer.
The best way to get rid of spyware is to download a spyware remover, scan your computer and let it remove the spyware automatically. Trying to do it manually is definitely not recommended unless you have a very good programming knowledge. On my site, The Adware & Spyware Geek, I have several reviews of some of the best adware and spyware and most of them offer a free download which would allow you to scan your computer and find these threats.
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