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3. Computer Security: Spyware Protection

Spyware is a software program, that once installed on your computer, can monitor and collect personal information about your web surfing habits and the web pages that you visit.

You are usually unaware that your machine has been infected by spyware and it can sit in the background, collecting information about you and then transmitting it back to the author of the spyware - often advertisers who want to know what you are interested in and what adverts you click on.

Spyware may be installed without your knowledge by downloading some shareware or other software that seems to do something useful e.g. a free game or utility.

Whilst spyware is normally harmless, it can interfere with your control of the computer in other ways. It can install additional software which redirects the web browser to sites that it wants you to visit. It can also change the computer settings which can result in slow connect speeds and it can prevent you from accessing secure internet services.

Key loggers are another form of spyware, but they are not so harmless. The purpose of a key logger is to monitor and store a record of every keystroke made on the computer. This data may then be sent to a remote server without your knowledge. It is specifically looking for user names and passwords used for things such as bank accounts, credit card numbers etc.

Computer security software normally includes an anti-spyware section to help detect these malicious programs. You need regularly scan your system for spyware and key loggers and remove them if they are found.


Challenge see if you can find out one extra fact on this topic that we haven't already told you

Click on this link: Spyware