Spyware is computer software that is without users knowledge covertly installed on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user's interaction with the computer, without the user's informed consent.
While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user's behavior, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet surfing habits, sites that have been visited, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways,
such as installing additional software, redirecting Web browser activity, accessing websites blindly that will cause more harmful viruses, or diverting advertising revenue to a third party. Spyware can even change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, changed home pages, and loss of Internet or other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is captured under the term privacy-invasive software.
Once Spyware Protection Plus has been installed on your computer, it will start to generate pop up ads and warning messages. The pop-up ads will help to convince you to believe the warning messages. The warnings will say that your computer has been overrun with spyware and that you should let it scan your computer in order to find the infections.
The scan that Spyware Protection Plus performs is a sham. It doesn’t really scan your system, but it will deliver a list of imaginary threats to you and insist that you register the program. It will claim that if you don’t pay to register the program the threats won’t be removed. However, the full, registered version doesn’t actually remove any threats. It won’t even protect your computer from future infections.
If your computer has become infected you should remove the threat as soon as possible. You could attempt to remove it manually, but this is quite a difficult task. You would have to find all of the files and folders that belong to the program and delete them. On top of this, you would have to delete the Trojan that downloaded it or you will only end up with the rogue antispyware reinstalled on your computer.
Varieties of spyware
Spyware is a blanket term that covers all kinds of generally unhelpful software, from tools that enable companies to deliver ads to you based on your surfing habits, to programs that attempt to hijack your browser settings, all the way to software designed to steal ad-revenue from legitimate online businesses by covering or replacing their adds. Here's a brief guide to some of the categories of nastiness that you may see.
Adware: The most common form of spyware, these are programs which will observe your surfing habits, then report them to one or more servers on the Internet who will then tailor advertising content to your preferences and deliver it to your computer through pop-ups or other methods
.Adware is generally bundled in with various freeware applications to help the producers defray the costs, or in some cases, bundled with software produced by the same company, where the license to use the software hinges on the users' acceptance of the adware working in the background. Examples of adware applications include Gator and Doubleclick.
Almost all major peer-to-peer file-sharing programs, such as Kazaa Media Desktop, contain adware. There is a fine line between adware and ad-supported software, and it's generally at the point where you decide the loss of privacy is worth the value of the product you are being offered. In many cases, the products are being marketed towards novice computer users, under the obvious assumption that they will not realize the functionality of the software can be found in other products without unnecessary adware bundled in
Be aware that using some of the methods detailed later on to block or remove adware can violate the license agreement of the programs it was included with. This is true in the case of the Gator Corporation's software such as Ewallet and Weatherscope, and also with Kazaa Media Desktop.
Automatic spyware protection
When automatic spyware protection is enabled, the Radialpoint Spyware Protection service runs transparently in the background to detect spyware programs and Internet Explorer spyware cookies. When a spyware program is found, the program is quarantined and prevented from running. Spyware cookies are deleted by default, but you can change this setting so that cookies are quarantined instead. You can later delete or restore quarantined programs or cookies.