The amount of spyware floating around the Internet has increased exponentially since it was first discussed in 2000. A 2005 survey conducted by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance showed that 61% of computers were infected with spyware and 92% of users had no idea it was there. These programs are now the biggest danger to computers running Microsoft’s Windows operating system.
The danger is even greater if you use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer web browsers. Internet Explorer is the most widely used web browser so developers of malicious software will target it directly in an effort to reach as many computers as possible. Most of the weaknesses in Internet Explorer are well known as soon as their discovered and many times spyware will be created to exploit this weakness before it can fixed. Because of this, most computers don’t just have one of these harmful programs running in the background, but many. This is why is extremely important to have an anti-spyware program that will automatically update itself periodically. The best programs will have this ability.
Once infected, a computer will can start to exhibit a range of unwanted behaviors. Things like pop-up advertisements, hijacking web session, and installing tool-bars and other add-ons to the web browser, which in turn invite more spyware to your computer. After multiple unwanted programs are installed, the computer will start to run more slowly as these programs use more resources. If you’ve installed a quality programs available, then you’ll be able to schedule periodic scans of your computer.
The best removal programs will employ both of the aforementioned features along with a plethora of other features to keep your computer running smoothly. There are a number of free scanners available, but these will generally just scan your computer for threats that are already installed, offering no protection from the intial infection. Relying solely on effective scanning and removal is dangerous as spyware is notoriously difficult to completely remove and can just reinstall itself if any remnants of it are left on the system.
If you own a computer then you should definitely have some sort of protection against these threats. The best removal programs available will be proactive and constantly on the lookout for potential threats and take steps to neutralize those threats to keep your computer clean of dangerous programs.
Daniel Roy is a computer programmer and IT project manager with many years experience. Visit his site to find information about what to look for to find the best spyware removal programs on the market.