Online Computer Repair and Spyware
In the early days of spyware, certain shady companies thought they could convince PC users that their programs weren’t threats. For example, spyware “tool bars” included cartoon animals or catchy names, or else pretended to offer some valuable service, while simultaneously stealing information off of the infected PC. It wasn’t long before individuals began to see through this ruse, and soon, antispyware programs became widely available to detect and eradicate these nuisances before they lead to computer repair issues.
The unfortunate result of this is that spyware makers, in order to survive, soon found ways to go covert and underground. They found ways to install their programs on our computers entirely without our knowledge, and designed them to work in our computers undetected. In this sense, spyware, which was originally closely related to spam, is now much more within the realm of viruses — a much more sinister category.
What’s more, when you allow spyware to infect your computer, it can be very damaging to the hard drive and to the programs that you use daily. First, spyware takes up a portion of an infected computer’s CPU usage. Even though most spyware programs are relatively small, they are always active, which means that they can substantially slow down a PC. Having spyware on your computer is like running with your legs tied. It makes everything much more difficult.
Plus, spyware often interacts strangely with the legitimate programs on your computer, which may require computer repairs. If you’ve noticed that a program you use every day has been behaving in unusual ways — running slowly, freezing, crashing, or otherwise not functioning as it’s supposed to — it may be because there is spyware program impeding its functioning.
You may have noticed that when you run certain programs at the same time — Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox, for example — your computer becomes substantially slower. Spyware can have a similar effect. It can slow things down very dramatically. And, to make things worse, when you persist in trying to run impeded programs at full blast, hard drive degeneration can occur. If spyware is allowed to continue on your computer, you could soon be facing complete hard drive failure. Any computer repair person will tell you that this is a major source of catastrophic PC problems.
Stopping spyware starts with prevention. The biggest sources of spyware infection are Web downloads, email attachments, and file sharing networks. The latter, in particular, is a huge threat, as people who use file-sharing networks basically have no clue what they’re downloading or who they’re downloading from. Spyware can come attached to seemingly legitimate mp3s, for instance.
A good rule of thumb is to only download from legitimate, trusted sources, and to only open email attachments from people you know. After all, it’s not as if we can bill spyware companies for our computer repairs.
After prevention, the next necessary step is to have high-quality, up-to-date antispyware software on our computers. Antispyware software is becoming better and better with each passing year, and PC users who use the Internet frequently should have the most cutting-edge program available. Such programs are made by a wide variety of companies, and are available for download — although the best programs are usually going to cost a little bit of money.
And let’s not forget, spyware can hugely compromise the security of the information sent to and from your PC. Computer repairs may seem like a relatively small problem compared to identity theft, but they are all essentially one, unified threat. In short, spyware is not to be taken lightly.