The Difference between Spyware and Viruses

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“What’s the difference is between spyware and viruses?” people often ask.

A virus is vandalism. Or rather self-perpetuating vandalism. it doesn’t really do anything for anyone, including it’s creators. No one makes money on viruses. A virus just breaks into a computer and makes a big mess. It writes grafitti of code all over your data and registry. It damages computers by smashing your OS against the wall, so to speak. It also spreads. But no one makes a profit on it. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy.

On the other hand, spyware (including adware and trojan horses) can make money for its creators. Profit’s its aim. It spies on your computer–and therefore, you–trying to get credit card numbers or bank account numbers and passwords. Maybe it forces you (hijacks your browser) to go to a bogus search engine, so instead of Google or Yahoo or Live Search, only the Adware’s ineffective Search Engine, and all its advertisers will open. Your computer and you are therefore captives to the bogus search engine’s ads. Or with less malicious forms, it just collects information on your interests and sends you ads, specialized just for you. Or in the case of rogue anti-spyware, it pretends to be a legitimate anti-virus or anti-spyware, trying to get you to buy it, but really doesn’t work against any viruses or spyware, except ones that it deposited into your computer.

In the case of Windows XP Antivirus 2008/2009, it seems to be a combination of spyware and virus. It not only floods your computer with spyware and steals your credit card numbers, it also behaves like a virus and returns after you think you’ve gotten rid of it. It also, left untreated, trashes your computer like a virus. It’s a nasty.

I hope this makes things clearer.

Now be good little duckies and never go without anti-spyware and anti-virus protection…And stay away from porn sites and P2Ps, where you’re guaranteed to pick up terrible computer diseases. If you must go to porn sites, at least practice safe computer sex and use top of the line anti-spyware protection such as Spyware Doctor. Even if you never go to dangerous sites, your computer can pick up spyware almost anywhere and that is why anti-spyware is necessary for all computer. And for those who can’t live with a free P2P please use this one.

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An Excellent Spyware Reference

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I’m excited!! I’ve been reading the article on Spyware in Wikipedia. It’s excellent. If you want in depth knowledge about what malware is and does, read it.

The photo on the page shows a browser overloaded with toolbars. If you have unwanted toolbars on your browser window then that is one indication you have spyware. See here how to get rid of it.
Or if you live in Calgary, Ducktoes can help.

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Spyware Videos

This is a link to a video on spyware by C-net Reviews. The editors recommend having more than one anti-spyware. I recommend having all three, Spy-bot, Ad-aware and Windows Defender. They all catch different things.
Here’s a video warning of the dangers of spyware and malware. It’s also an ad for Spyware Doctor, an anti-spyware which works great!! Spyware Doctor’s not free, but definitely worth the price which is about $30-$40.

Here’s another video that explains malware and spyware better. I don’t recommend Spyhunter, but the video is great. In a review of anti-spyware; it gets a mediocre rating. See here.

In this review, Spy Sweeper gets the gold. And SpyWare Doctor comes in fourth. I find both of them excellent tools in the fight against spyware.

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Spyware Trespasses into Your Computer

Spyware is a general term for software that downloads into your computer from the Internet without your permission or knowledge. Sometimes spyware serves you ads, sometimes it collects information about you, sometimes it records every keystroke you type, sometimes it uses your computer as a server. What makes spyware particularly offensive and pernicious, is that spyware breaks into your computer without your permission. This is in a trespassing into your private property or space just as much as someone breaking into your house or business is. And you need to protect yourself.

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