SPYWARE - DIFFERENT TYPES
Spyware is more dangerous than a virus. It can steal personal data and track your
internet habits. It might be concealed in a free screensaver or other software that you download. Computer safety
expert Leif Wheeler advises us to be aware of any offer of free software.
Many times, spyware is hidden in legitimate software. Be cautious of deals offered
by well-known companies. Crooks and thieves often create web sites that resemble Adobe, Google or Microsoft, says
Wheeler. They instruct you to download upgrades which secretly contain spyware. Common sense should tell you to
download things like screensavers or wallpaper only from a company's registered web site. Have a safety talk with
anyone who uses your computer. Run an anti-spyware application. The schemes for stealing are the same, notes
Wheeler. What's changed is the technology. The rest of us have to try to stay one step ahead.
There is a type of spyware that the New York Times has labeled as “Stealware” and
what spyware researcher Ben Edelman refers to as “Click Fraud”, also known as “Affiliate Fraud”. The most notable
vendors of this kind of spyware are 180 Solutions and WhenU. This spyware redirects the payment of the rightful
affiliate’s commission to the account of the spyware vendor.
An instance of spyware rarely "exists" alone. An afflicted computer can rapidly
become corrupted with a lot of spyware devices. Frequently, users will notice erratic behavior and a decline of the
system’s operation. Spyware contamination can cause considerable inappropriate CPU activity, network traffic, disk
usage and the slowing-down of the legitimate uses of these resources. Stability issues, system crashes and
application crashes are also very common. Spyware which disrupts the networking software normally causes problems
connecting to the Internet.
A Trojan horse, by definition, sneaks in a danger-some program cloaked as
something acceptable. Many spywares get spread in this way. The representative of the spyware presents the program
as a suitable utility, for example, as useful software or as a web-accelerator. Users then install the software not
suspecting that it could do harm to their computer. A classic case of this is Bonze Buddy, a spyware application
designed to trick children, claims that: “He will explore the Internet with you as your very own friend and
sidekick! He can talk, walk, joke, browse, search, e-mail, and download like no other friend you've ever had! He
even has the ability to compare prices on the products you love and help you save money! Best of all, he's
Often times, spyware programs are revealed by visibly presenting advertisements.
Some spyware simply displays pop-up ads on a pre-determined schedule. For example, a pop-up may appear when the
user opens a new browser window. Yet other types display ads when the user visits a specific type of site. Spyware
developers use this as a selling point when pitching their wares to advertisers who want to buy ad placement in
pop-ups shown when the user lands on a particular site. It is also one of the reasons why spyware programs collect
and store information on user behavior. ~ Leif Wheeler ~ Leif Wheeler began marketing on the internet in 1992 and
he retired in 2004. Leif’s internet-time is now spent researching and writing articles that improve everyone’s
internet experience. Benefit from Leif’s vast experience at http://www.leifwheeler.com