When You Need a Spyware Detector

The term "spyware" covers quite a lot of ground. It is any program that is installed on a computer for the purpose of tracking the use of the computer or information on the computer. Spyware can be used by employers to find out how their employees are using their computers on company time. It can be used by advertisers to install toolbars, generate pop-up ads or redirect a request for a web site to the advertiser's site. It can also be used to find computer and Internet use that can help an advertiser to profile the user and their shopping needs. Often, spyware is downloaded on to users' personal computers without their knowledge or permission.

What's the Damage?

Some spyware tries to operate under the radar. It tracks the use of the computer without calling any attention to it by adding ad banners or pop-ups. At the least, this kind of spyware is using the computer's resources without permission. At the most, it can be tracking and stealing the user's passwords for secure sites visited - including information like credit card numbers. Then there are the other types of spyware that make any request for a web site a visit to its advertiser. The more attention getting type of spyware can result in using enough of the computer's resources to cause a slowing of the computer on or off the Internet. Often, an application or the entire system can crash. Spyware that is transmitting information can interfere with Internet connection.

A specific spyware detector is usually the only way to find and eliminate spyware. If it is present on your computer, it has already gotten past your firewall. Spyware can masquerade as other programming. A spyware detector is programmed to seek specific types of spyware programming. A good spyware detector should be updated as needed to continue to find new spyware as it appears on the scene. Many anti-virus programs include a spyware detector application. Unfortunately, some downloadable spyware detector programs include spyware themselves.

Some spyware can disable firewalls and other anti-virus software. It can even be programmed to reduce browser security settings. A security-minded computer user should have a spyware detector. The chosen spyware detector should be able to uninstall the spyware. Some spyware is able to modify a computer's system files to make the spyware harder to remove. Any spyware detector that you use should be able to counteract this. If you are looking for a spyware detector, be sure to do your research. Check articles from reliable computer magazines to find the best, most current type of spyware detector.