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Surfing the net? Heads up!


My cousin Nimesh hasn’t much of computer savvy. So when his computer started running slower than usual, he was planning to upgrade his computer. Only when he was redirected to sites other than his liking was he suspicious.  Strange new tool bars and pop ups prompted him to get his computer checked. His computer had been infested by a host of adware and spyware.

In the era of broadband internet, freeware, peer to peer file sharing and active X programs, adware and spyware can infect just about any computer. Adware and spyware usually come bundled up with other programs, usually in the form of freeware like peer-to-peer file sharing programs or screensavers. Websites booby trapped with malicious codes can also create such problems.

These malicious software are different from viruses in the sense that virus are more destructive in nature whereas adware and spyware observe a persons surfing habits and relay these information to its place of origin. These information are used for commercial purposes, like for example in the form of spam. Hijacking software attacks your web browser and forcibly changes your default homepage and redirects you to other websites. Spyware and adware not only make net surfing a big inconvenience but also attacks ones right to privacy.

You can tell if your computer is infected if one or more of the following symptoms appear.

  • Your computer runs slower than usual especially when online.
  • A strange new toolbar appears on your web browser.
  • You get constantly bombarded with pop ups containing advertises.
  • Your default homepage is changed and you can’t change it back.
  • You type in the address of one site, but get directed to another.

To defend your computers against these sorts of malware install an antispyware solution that finds and removes all spyware and adware cleanly and provides periodic updates. 

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