Computer Running Slow and Spyware

Since the Internet became a popular household commodity, businesses and advertisers have found that the fastest way to advertise is by ramming out down our throats. It started with spam e-mails, which is just an annoyance, and is still going strong in the form of spyware. While spyware does not always have malicious intent, it definitely can resulting in your computer getting hacked, and too much of it can be the cause of a computer running slow.

What is Spyware?

Despite what some people think, spyware is often unrelated to a virus. Its sole purpose is to gather information, or spy, on you. This can sometimes be a program written to find out your hobbies and interests to "improve" the relevancy of spam to your inbox so that you are more likely to open it. If your name is Bill and you see an e-mail's subject line as "Hey, Bill. This deal is amazing," it is more effective than "Hey, this deal is amazing." Today, people are less likely to be fooled even though spammers are still working hard to personalize their junk mail. Spyware can definitely have a negative impact on your privacy though. Gathering harmless information like your name might not make your blood boil as much as getting all your bank account information and passwords to everything you have ever entered on your computer. That is right; another form of spyware is known as a "keylogger." Keyloggers record every keystroke being pressed and send it back to a person with an evil agenda. Since spyware is installed without the user's knowledge it can be very hard to notice that you have a keylogger, or any other form of spyware, present, without some program helping you out.

Is Spyware Illegal?

You probably think, "How could something with such a dark intent be legal?" Well, your train of thought would be correct. On May 17th, 2004, a US House subcommittee approved what would be the first bill targeted to be against Internet spyware. Essentially, no program can be installed without the user's consent. Does spyware still exist, then? Of course. Do people still illegally download mp3s online? Of course. Just because something is banned, definitely does not mean it is done away with forever. Programs made to target and destroy spyware were made to combat this very thing.

Anti-Spyware

Spyware is hard to find, especially if you have no idea where it could be hiding. Programs such as Ad-Aware and Spybot: Search and Destroy are two perfect examples of trusted anti-spyware software, whose goal is automatically find and delete known spyware from your computer. Other programs that target specific spyware, like keyloggers, can be found online also. Even Anti-virus software can sometimes eliminate spyware it deems a threat. Some form of anti-spyware is recommended to increase the security of your computer.

How Can Spyware Slow Down A Computer?

Spyware programs often execute themselves, meaning they do not need your permission to run. They run in the background, and the tend to run constantly. Having several programs running that you do not know of can lead to your computer slowing to a halt. Unless you like saying, "my computer keeps freezing!" I suggest you remove that spyware. Spyware running can be the equivalent of as if you opened 5 instances of Adobe Photoshop and then tried to go along with your business. It might not be noticeable at first, but when you really want to multi-task, you will begin to see the side effects, not to mention the safety of your computer being compromised.

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