SPYWARE - It’s lurking on your machines

SPYWARE   programs secretly record what you do on your computer and they can be used for some perfectly legitimate purposes, but the majority of spy-ware is malicious. Its aim is usually to capture passwords, banking credentials and credit card details - and send them over the Internet to fraudsters. Some of the earliest spy-ware did little more than report to the authors each time the program was used. It was intended as a marketing aid or to monitor usage for licensing purposes.
That still goes on, but a lot of spy-ware nowadays is designed to steal confidential information - user names and passwords for banking sites, email accounts, social networking sites and online games.
You may never know you have malicious spyware on your computer, as it tends to work quietly in the background and the overt functionality and quality of the program may be very appealing. They're often distributed as 'shareware' or 'freeware' with minimal license restrictions in order to trap as many people as possible. some common examples of spyware that could infect your computer: New.net.domain.plugin, Trymedia, Nuvens, Live PC care, etc.

PROTECTION FROM SPYWARE

There are several ways that you can protect yourself from spyware. Firstly, don’t unwittingly install it. Many shareware download sites now test programs submitted to them and offer guarantees that their archives are free of spyware. You have to take this on trust, but the more established sites have their reputation to maintain, so their guarantees can usually be relied upon. So it's a good idea to download only from reputable software sites, however tempting the offers may be from less well-known ones. Reviews of download sites can help you decide which are the safest.
Secondly, you can install an anti-spyware tool. Many of these are of high quality, and some are freeware themselves. These tools regularly download updates to stay abreast of newly- emerging spyware. Some of them can run in the background all the time, without really slowing down your computer, and they generally do a very good job.

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