Spyware is software that runs behind the scenes on your computer and collects information about your keystrokes, the sites you visit, and any other information that you would want to keep private. Spyware gets installed on your computer without you even knowing about it. But a first warning sign that you have it on your computer is when performance begins to deteriorate rapidly and you find a lot of strange processes that you know nothing about. While there are tools to remove spyware, the best situation is that it never resides on our computer in the first place.
Here are some tips to keeping spyware from destroying your computer. First of all, you need to be vigilant in avoiding clicks on sites or links that you know nothing about - especially if these links come from popup ads. You should not click on a popup or spam advertisement link because you don't want to risk that click installing spyware on your computer. The first step to preventing spyware on your computer is to make sure your computer is clean from spyware in the first place. Here is a good tip. Many of have seen popup ads where it has a button and says click on this to close the advertisement.
Don't click that button because it may be associated with installing spyware on computer. Press the "X" to close out the window instead. That will force a hard close of the window without running any spyware installers. Never under any circumstances open an email attachment from someone that you do not know. If you don't know what kind of attachment you are opening for sure then don't open it. It may contain something to install a virus or spyware on your computer.
Most of us are guilty of not reading all agreements when we install software. We usually just click the Accept button and move on with the install. Makers of spyware software know this too and they actually put clauses in the agreement that by clicking the Accept button you agree to install their spyware. This can be annoying and time-consuming but it would be wise to read all agreements of any software you install. With today's high speed internet connections where you do not dial up and they are always on, you should never operate without a firewall on you computer.
This firewall should also protect against your computer sending viruses or spyware from behind it to the rest of the world. Windows XP Service Pack 2 has a built in firewall. If you are using some version of Windows prior to XP, there are third party personal firewalls such as ZoneAlarm that are relatively inexpensive and have built in antivirus and anti-spyware protection. And lastly, make sure your Internet Explorer security settings are set at medium or higher. If they are not set at least at this level you can pick up spyware by just visiting a web site.
In fact, if you want better protection against spyware, download and install Mozilla Firefox and make it your default web browser. It has much better protection against these threats.
For more information on combating spyware and adware visit: http://www.spywareremovalsoft.com/