What is spyware? Why is it dangerous? These are two questions many people ask. In my opinion, spyware and adware are much more dangerous than a virus. Why? For one, spyware can steal your personal data as well as track your internet habits. Spyware is often located in web bug or downloadable items such as music, screensavers or other types of digital downloadable media. It can actually be hidden in “legitimate” software. Many companies will mirror a well known company to get the consumer to buy the product, and unbeknownst to them there is spyware or adware buried in the software. You may get notices to upgrade your software through names such as Microsoft, Google, Adobe, etc. The best way to download a product is to go to the companies registered site and make sure your run an anti-spyware application.\nFor any of you who are affiliate marketers, there is a spyware named “Stealware” by the New York Times, which has also been called “Click Fraud” or “Affiliate Fraud”. This type of spyware will redirect the income of rightful affiliate’s commission to the account of the spyware account. This is horrible, as many affiliate marketers spend a lot of their time promoting and marketing as their source of income, these spyware users are robbing these people from their rightful commissions.\nOne of the biggest targets of adware and spyware is Internet Explorer. It is used most often world wide and has a reputation of having very weak security. It is integrated into Windows OS and it has a scriptability which makes it very simple and susceptible to intrusion of these vicious software programs. There are also “Browser Helper Objects” which can simply attach to Internet Explorer. These help redirect traffic and add toolbars.\nA very common complaint of spyware is through “pop-up” advertisements. Like many banner advertisements, spyware ads will use flickering banners and animation designed to grab the users attention which makes them very distracting.\nSpyware and Adware affect every user on the internet. All the information you enter on the web can be interceded. Unauthorized sites can add themselves to your desktop (icons). Unauthorized sites can add themselves to your list of favorites. Browsing activity can be tracked and monitored. Unwanted toolbars and searchbars can attach themselves to your browser without your knowledge or approval. Your personal information can be sold to other parties without your knowledge or consent. Your default homepage can be hijacked so you can’t change them. These malicious components not only invade your PC so they cannot be removed but take up your hard drive space and slow down your PC.\nSo what do you do when you think you are infected with adware or spyware? There are several free programs on the internet today, but I have found through much research and trial and error that the Adware software is the best on the market. The first time I ran it I had over 150 parasites that were cleaned and removed, but this was after a hacker from Korea had gone into my Paypal account and wiped out my checking account. He was able to steal my information from his spyware and I will never not run without this NoAdware program again.\nThe best advice I can give you, is be very careful. Protect yourself, your computer and make sure you change your passwords frequently so that you are secure with your web surfing. Never download digital products without a secure system. As the internet is a world of fun but it is also a world of thieves that won’t let much stand in their way.\nBe safe and have fun surfing the World Wide Web and Beware of Adware and Spyware!!