Dangerous Threats You Must Be Aware OfOne of the most dangerous aspects of online threats is their ability to hide their existence. Hackers and the creators of malicious spyware and malware programs go to great lengths to design programs that are difficult to identify and ultimately remove. That means a malicious program can be downloaded and doing its dirty work on your computer long before you are aware of it. Below are the two most common threats you’ll need to guard against.
Spyware is technical jargon for hidden programs which advertisers install on your PC without your permission to spy on you, gather information, and report this information about you and your online activities to an outside person. Spyware is NOT harmless; it can be responsible for delivering a boatload of spam, altering your web browser, slowing down your PC, and serving up a bounty of pop-up ads. In some of the more extreme cases, spyware can also steal your identity, passwords, e-mail contacts and even use your PC for illegal activities. Most spyware finds its way onto your computer via file downloads including free programs, music files, and screen savers. While you may *think* you are only downloading a legitimate program to add emoticons (smiley faces) to your e-mails, you could very likely be unknowingly downloading a stack of spyware programs. Spyware piggybacks the download and runs in the background gathering information about you and sending it back to its originator until it is removed. Although spyware has malicious components, surprisingly it is not illegal and it is not considered a virus because it doesn’t replicate itself or destroy data.