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Spyware is becoming a reoccurring topic of conversation with most computer users nowadays. It has evolved into one of the most annoying and frustrating problems your computer can encounter. Although it is not a virus, it can still rob the computer of vital processing power. It is not there to actually harm the computer, but to hide behind the scenes and view the computer’s activity. In some cases, this is actually worse than a virus.

Spyware is a category of computer programs that attaches itself to the specific operating system. They are designed to track your Internet habits, nag users with unwanted sales offers or generate traffic for their host Web site. According to recent estimates, more than two-thirds of all personal computers are infected with some kind of spyware. This is disturbing given the fact that computers are becoming a necessity in America’s society.

Mistakes are often made when people believe their computers have been attacked by a virus, when in reality it is often spyware. A computer virus is a piece of code designed to replicate itself as many times as possible, spreading from one host computer to any other computers connected to it. It can damage your personal files and sometimes even the operating system. The damage spyware inflicts is actually more of a by-product of its real mission, which is to serve users targeted advertisements and/or make your browser display sites or search results.

Spyware does not affect everyone however, as it mainly targets the Windows Operating System. People who use Macintosh Operating Systems are relatively safe from spyware infections, but that does not mean spyware companies are not trying. At the rate in which spyware has made itself so popular, the p...

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...suspicious of installing new software, and use the “X” to close pop-up windows.

Although there is no way to tell where spyware is heading in the future, with the knowledge of prevention and treating infections, people are able to keep their computers safe from harm and intrusions. Just because spyware is illegal, it still happens. Companies will do anything to find new ways to make a “quick buck.”

Works Cited

Coustan, Dave. “How Spyware Works.” How Stuff Works. Retrieved 28 Nov. 2006

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Source: McAfee. Spyware - A Hidden Menace. 3 Jun. 2004. Retrieved 28 Nov. 2006.

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Wagner, Christian. “Spyware/Adware/Malware FAQ.” Retrieved 29 Nov. 2006
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