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what is spyware?

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by pc_loser, Feb 16, 2003.

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  1. pc_loser

    pc_loser Thread Starter

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    Could someone explain to me what spyware is, where it comes from, what it does, and how to get rid of it? Short question, but I suspect it's gonna be a BIG answer, lol.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. terryxp

    terryxp

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    Spyware, or adware, are programs that usually "tag" along on a legitimit program, file sharing programs are notorious for this. i.e. kazaa. These pesky files run in the background and do certain functions, such as monitor your surfing habits, what sites you visit etc... in my mind they are an invasion of privacy. As well as the minds of some savy programmers, who come up with programs to zap them from your system. AD-AWARE, which just came out with a new version, is my favorite, and can be found here, www.lavasoftusa.com. SPYBOT is also a good program for getting rid of spyware, but is not meant for novices, as you can render programs useless if you dont know for sure what your deleting. I would recommend adaware... If you have been using your PC and have never run this type of program, I highly recommend you do, and you will almost certainly be astonished at what it finds....
     
  3. mal1930

    mal1930

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    Hi, Once you run the program to get rid of the spyware it is possible that the progam that came with it won't work.

    There might be a freeware one available such as Kazaalite to replace Kazaa or you have to make up your mind whether the program is worth the spyware.

    Spyware is harmless to anyone that has nothing to hide except that it can slow your surfing the net and in fact your whole computer can be slowed. Peace Mal
     
  4. suzi

    suzi

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    I think that spyware is far more harmful than that. Some spyware programs send info to their makers showing what websites you go to, your purchase history, some can allow others to see your email address, possibly your passwords.

    See this article for a detailed description of the different types of spyware and what they do.

    http://www.spywareinfo.com/articles/spyware/

    This is a quote from the above article:

    "advertising spyware is software that is installed alongside other software or via activex controls on the internet, often without the user's knowledge, or without full disclosure that it will be used for gathering personal information and/or showing the user ads. advertising spyware logs information about the user, possibly including passwords, email addresses, web browsing history, online buying habits, the computer's hardware and software configuration, the name, age, sex, etc of the user."

    Spyware can do more than slow down your web surfing also. It can cause your computer to crash and become so messed up that you have to format and re-install. I've read stories where people have spend many hours and many dollars removing spyware and the havoc it caused on their computer.

    The companies that use spyware do so for their own gain without regard to the owner of the computer's personal information, personal property and most of the time without the owner's knowledge and permission.

    In my opinion, that is very outrageous and should be made illegal.
     
  5. mal1930

    mal1930

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    Hi, I am most probably out of touch because I have not used any for years.

    In it's early days it was not as intrusive as it might be now. Anyway it is up to the user whether he wants to use the program or not.

    I will accept you information as being better than mine. Peace Mal
     
  6. The_Egg

    The_Egg

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  7. belveder

    belveder

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    Windows XP is full of spyware, find a program called XP AntiSpy and that will show you all the nasty little things that XP has with it.
     
  8. pc_loser

    pc_loser Thread Starter

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    Thanks folks for all the info and links. I'll check everything out. I wouldn't want anything or anyone to invade my privacy like that. I want anything I put into my pc to be something I chose, not something over which I have no control. Looks like I've got some reading to do. Thanks again.
     
  9. Del

    Del

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    One of the worse parts is if it's deleted improperly, you can mess up the registry and not be able to surf.
    Always make sure to uninstall properly or get a good software to do it for you.
     
  10. pc_loser

    pc_loser Thread Starter

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    I did alot of reading these past couple days. I dloaded AdAware last night. I made sure I read instructions before doing the scan. But now that the scan is done, I'm a little confused as to what to do with the results. This is where the instructions are not clear to me. The scan found 30 items. If anyone is familiar with AdAware, could you please respond to my post. I would appreciate any help you can give.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  11. Mahmud603

    Mahmud603

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    What you do with the 30 items found is to do a bit of reading on the descriptions of each of the items and then ask AdAware to Quarantine them.

    It will move them to the quarantine folder and then delete the offending items.

    You may now find that one or more of your software with the spyware may not work. You decide if you wish to to uninstall.
     
  12. The_Egg

    The_Egg

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    Whichever entries you checkmark in the results, it will quarantine and remove them when you click "Next".
    However, we recommend you use Spybot Search & Destroy before using Ad-Aware.
    Let Spybot repair the damage, then run Ad-Aware afterwards to clean up anything Spybot might've missed.
     
  13. pc_loser

    pc_loser Thread Starter

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    "SPYBOT is also a good program for getting rid of spyware, but is not meant for novices, as you can render programs useless if you dont know for sure what your deleting. I would recommend adaware... "

    This was in one of the posts above, that's why I got AdAware. As I am a novice, I would be afraid to use Spybot. Looking for more input before moving forward.

    Thanks in advance.:confused:
     
  14. pc_loser

    pc_loser Thread Starter

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    Can anyone else offer any advice regarding Spybot? I certainly wouldn't want to use something that had the potential of deleting something important by accident.
     
  15. terryxp

    terryxp

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    If you don't use Peer2Peer filesharing programs, you really have nothing to worry about. A normal user, running "normal" "paid for" programs, should feel secure using spybot...
     
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