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Spyware seems to be the topic of the day. Here are some important facts that you need to know about spyware removal and how to protect yourself.

Spyware and Malware can easily be installed on a system without the user's knowledge. In some cases one infection can propagate many more infections by downloading and installing malicious software stealthily in the background. It only takes one piece of software specifically designed to download and install other pieces of software to infect your system, after all, the beauty of a computer is that the only limit is the imagination.

There is no software available that can remove all spyware or malware because of the techniques that are used to release new variants and new strains of infections into the wild.

Spyware and malware infections can make pieces of your identity just a few mouse clicks away for criminals because of the ability of the software to gather and report personal information about you. 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 maximum data transfer. In some cases, malware and spyware can turn your computer into a zombie that relays things like spam and viruses which uses even more system and bandwidth resources. Take a look at some of the major companies advertising campaigns and you will see how important it is to them that users prevent their systems from becoming infected. A surge in network traffic for an ISP can cost them MILLIONS of dollars.

Spyware and Malware take away precious system resources in your computer, making boot times longer and over all performance sluggish. This topic is self explanatory. You only have so many system resources available in your computer to complete tasks. Every time you add another piece of software (good or bad) that requires attention, you are taking away resources from legitimate computer uses.

A spy Audit survey in 2004 suggests that over 90% of computers are infected with some type of spyware! Remember, this is a piece of software that generates these statistics. If you think 90% is a lot, imagine all of the other stuff it is missing! It has been suggested that EVERY online computer has some type of spyware on it. This is particularly true when a computer is used to surf the internet and view websites. The amount of information that can be gathered from cookies alone allow companies to gain valuable information about your surfing habits.

Spyware and Malware can infect your system without your knowledge when you install certain software on your computer. Screen savers, online games, PC performance enhancers and even some spyware removal programs can "bundle" spyware and malware into their software.

Many computer users resort to "reformatting" their computer to rid their system of spyware, resulting in complete data loss and hours of valuable time lost to working on their computers. Time to reformat a system ranges from 1 to 4 hours depending on the method used. It can take up to several hours to reinstall applications, drivers and updates. There is a high risk of re-infection if not done properly, making the system worse than before. In most cases users lose ALL their data. Of course reformatting your computer will remove spyware, but that does not mean you won't get infected immediately if you reinstall your favorite free software again.

Some variants of spyware and malware can install backdoors to allow hackers complete control over a system. This often results in someone from the outside using your computer to send out spam and viruses.

Businesses and individuals can spend thousands of dollars in a year on tech support, losing hours, days and even sometimes weeks and STILL have the same problems from the start!


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