7 Facts about Spyware

James of RenoGeek, is Reno’s leading expert at removing Spyware, Viruses, Ransomware and other forms of Malware from any computer system. If your in the Reno area please feel free to call 775-313-1951 to get help getting spyware removed from your PC.

Fact 1:
Spyware can easily be installed on a system without a user’s knowledge. Infections can originate from open ports in your firewall or by not having any firewall, visting malicious website or installing some software that includes the spyware with it’s installer package.

In many cases one infection can propagate many more infections by installing other spyware software in the background without the user ever knowing something is going on.

Basis of this Fact:
It only takes one open port in your firewall or just one piece of bad software to infect your system. After being infected most spyware is designed to download and install other malware to your PC thus starting a chain of events where your computer just gets worse over time.

Fact 2:
There is no software available that can remove 100% of all spyware.

Basis of this Fact:
In a recent studies by PCworld and others, tests compared 9 of the top spyware scanning and removal applications against each other. Each application was tested on a system infected with common spyware threats, and then compared against each other to see which product was best at spyware removal and detection.

The top three applications detected only 65% to 85% of the spyware on the test system, while all the other application detection rates were well below 60%.

So trusting just one piece of software for spyware removal is not a good bet. Also today we see new spyware come out almost daily. And while it can take months for a company to come up with a cure for one type of spyware a hacker can make something new today and start infecting machines. So the good guys are always a few steps behind the bad guys in this case.

Fact 3:
Spyware on your machine lets criminals get your identity information with just a few mouse clicks.

Basis of this Fact:
Spyware has helped many criminals get personal information in just the click of the mouse. A special type of spyware called a keylogger can record your account numbers and passwords and then send them off to a hacker. Online Identity theft and fraud is now the method of choice to rip people off as it is simple to do and the chances of getting caught are very small.

Fact 4:
Spyware can slow down your internet speed dramatically.

Basis of this Fact:
Every piece of information that leaves your computer via the Internet has to use some of your bandwidth. A heavily infected system can send a significant amount of information out at any given time.

This seriously limits the availability of bandwidth for legitimate uses and the user suffers a dramatic loss of speed.

In many cases, spyware can turn your computer into nothing more then a zombie that relays things like spam and viruses which uses even more system and bandwidth resources.

Fact 5:
Spyware takes away precious system resources from your computer, making boot times longer and over all performance much slower.

Basis of this Fact:
This is self explanatory. Your system only has so much resources available to complete tasks. Every program (good or bad) requires system resources, spyware takes away resources from legitimate computer programs.

Fact 6:
A survey suggests that over 90% of computers are infected with some type of adware, spyware or virus.

Basis of this Fact:
90% sounds like allot, but imagine all the stuff your computer does day in and day out. All the websites you go to and all the programs you may have downloaded. So when you know that it only takes one bad website or one bad program to infect you and then you add up all the places you could get spyware from 90% is not that surprising. And here at RenoGeek I see rates even higher then being reported with close to 95% of customers having some form of spyware or other nefarious software on their PC’s.

Fact 7:
Some types of spyware can install programs to allow hackers complete control over your system.

Basis of this Fact:
Everyday users are having their systems hijacked and used to create problems. Hackers call these infected computers “bots” and there are millions of them. When your system is turned into one of these “bots” someone from the outside can then use your computer to send out spam and viruses or link your system with thousands of other computers to shut down websites and launch other kinds of attacks.

What can I do to protect my system?

* Run more then one spyware scanner on your system.
As stated above no scanner catches 100% of all spyware so running more then one scanner increases the chances of catching spyware on your system.

* Scan often.
Scanning often makes sure you get rid of spyware before it has a chance to download more spyware or send out your personal data out.

* Keep your system updated.
Make sure you have auto updates turned on or go to Windows update often so you get the latest security patches.