|Computer security experts have reported that a recent influx of spyware, adware and browser hijacking by malicious online companies is creating new privacy and security concerns.|
Spyware programs, which generally come bundled with free software capture personal information, track Internet and PC usage, to stream them to the advertisers and direct unsuspecting customers to porn and gambling web sites, and allowing access to computer hackers.
Experts warn that spyware comes disguised as useful software even anti-spyware software, like a Trojan horse. McAfee, one o the leading compute security vendor reported that in the past 8 months its monitoring labs have recorded more than 40 million incidents of nonviral ‘malware’.
‘Nonviral threats are very serious concerns for consumers. With more than 100 million installations of adware, and we see those numbers increasing, I guarantee we see virus writers taking notice,’ warns Bryson Gordon, senior manager, McAfee – which has recently added spyware protection to it’s consume product line.
Nonviral threats consumed 12 percent of all tech support, said Maureen Cushman, a spokesperson for for Dell's consumer business segment. Industry experts believe consumers still do not understand the differences among adware, spyware, worms, and viruses. Adding to this new threat is the constant barrage of spam, or unsolicited commercial e-mail from online casinos, which buy huge e-mail databases for a few hundred dollars spam operators.
In a similar case, John Gilroy a columnist with The Washington Post reported that while cleaning out a friend's PC, he discovered a spyware file holding 3GB of personal information and data.
The best way to tackle this nuisance, say experts is by installing trusted and free anti-spyware software cleaners such as Spybot and Ad-aware. Other reliable methods to beat the menace of adware include: avoiding the usage of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and use Mozilla or Opera, which are not integrated with the Windows operating system; update Windows frequently; refuse attachments in e-mail; and use a personal firewall and updated antivirus suite.