Spyware scanners for advanced threats
Unfortunately, spyware poses a much more serious threat than many people realize. Not only is spyware irritating, but it can cause major problems within your computer system. It is important to keep your spyware scanners up to date in order to prevent some of the more malicious software from infiltrating your system. These advanced threats include:
- Installing a backdoor into your computer system that allows computer hackers to browse through your hard drive; stealing information, deleting files, changing your applications and creating general mayhem.
- Browser hijackers, or software that redirects your homepage and your Internet browser to pre-determined Web sites. Browser hijackers can simply build revenue for the corresponding Web companies, but they can also take on a wicked edge by constantly redirecting the unsuspecting user to unwanted images, such as those on adult Web sites.
- Collectware records a user profile of your Internet surfing habits and personal information and then sends a constant stream of data back to the spyware servers, who may sell it to marketing companies.
- Spyware changes your cookie settings. It re-enables cookies on your system (if you disabled them) and sends out 'bad' cookies to invite other spyware programs into your computer.
- Spyware scanners can present dialers from installing themselves and taking over your computer modem and dial out random telephone numbers from your PC. Sometimes the calls are to expensive adult chat hotlines and sometimes they are to very far, very expensive locations. The innocent user is stuck paying hefty phone bills.
- Spyware can install DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) and unwanted files without your consent, which will junk up your computer and introduce viruses. Other files mimic the authorized user and automatically download their own updates. These wreak havoc with your auto-install programs and sometimes even your PC's defenses.
- Malware, or malicious software, that reads, writes and deletes any files it chooses. Logic bombs, Trojan horses, viruses and worms are all types of malicious code. Malware changes system settings such as resetting your auto signature, disabling uninstall so you can't remove the software, even reformatting your hard drive. Spyware scanners can prevent the serious threat that malware poses.