Isn't AntiVirus Software Enough?

You hear on the news about the latest computer virus threat. You hop down to Wal-Mart, pick up a copy of the latest Norton AntiVirus, go home and install it. Three days later, you discover your system is just not working like it should: it's slow; porn pop-up windows open when grandma walks through the room; and the web sites you want to visit just won't open. Norton insists you don't have any virus, yet you can't shake the feeling that something is happening deep within the bowels of your PC. What could it possibly be?

Nothing Here!

If you thought virus were bad, welcome to the wonderful world of spyware and adware. Spyware/adware are little pieces of software that can monitor your web surfing habits in order to collect demographic information for the purpose of tailoring pop-ups and advertisements that companies think you might like to see. These programs integrate themselves so deeply into the Windows operating system that they cannot easily be removed. You will rarely find an uninstall option for them listed under the Add/Remove Programs control panel.

Despite the potentially unethical prying into of our private lives, spyware, in and of itself, is not bad for your computer, per se. Unfortunately, these program don't tend to play well with each other. There are only so many resources available in your PC and when these program vie for control over them, things can get kind of hairy. Your system may crash, slow down, or stop loading web pages altogether. Your system may also work fine except for the the dozens of relentless pop-ups you receive every minute. The pop-ups from one piece of spyware can be bearable, but what about when you have twenty different pieces of spyware installed? It can stop productivity dead in its tracks.

So just where does spyware come from? How did it get installed on my machine? Well, there is a complicated answer and a simple one. Usually the simple one is the most likely culprit: you installed it!

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10-23-2005

Bo McCurdy Computer Sales
417 Crestview Place
Cadillac, MI 49601

 

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