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Protect Your Computer Against Spyware

Spyware collects personal information without letting you know and without asking for permission.

Spyware can sometimes be thought as software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.

The information that spyware collects ranges from a list of Web sites that you visit to usernames and passwords. In addition to privacy concerns, spyware can hamper your computer's performance.

There are various ways that can be implemented to avoid spyware:

1. Keep your operating system up-to-dateInstall new security updates as soon as they become available.

2. Use antivirus technology

Help prevent malicious programs from spreading from computer to computer.

Computer viruses are software programs that are deliberately designed to interfere with computer operation, record, corrupt, or delete data, or spread themselves to other computers and throughout the Internet.

Viruses often slow things down and cause other problems in the process.

How do viruses work?

Basic viruses typically require unwary computer users to inadvertently share or send them.

Some viruses that are more sophisticated, such as worms, can replicate and send themselves automatically to other computers by controlling other software programs, such as an e-mail sharing application.

Certain viruses, called Trojans, can falsely appear as a beneficial program to coax users into downloading them. Some Trojans can even provide expected results while quietly damaging your system or other networked computers at the same time.

To help avoid viruses, it's essential that you keep your computer current with the latest updates and antivirus tools, stay informed about recent threats, and that you follow a few basic rules when you surf the Internet, download files, and open attachments.

Once a virus is on your computer, its type or the method it used to get there is not as important as removing it and preventing further infection.

3. Use antispyware technology

Help protect your computer from spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

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