Information Technology

 

Spyware, Adware, and Malware

Spyware is technology that assists in gathering information about you without your knowledge or permission.  It can change your browser or system settings and collect, track, and send unauthorized information about you to a third party (mostly advertisers) including your name, social security number, credit card or bank information, and passwords. 

Adware is a form of spyware that appears in an advertising banner, bar, or pop-up window.  Often, these harmful ads will try to fool you by indicating that you’ve won a prize or encourage you to take a survey/poll on your screen to get you to “click” and hence, download the spyware.  In turn, your personal information is used to target you with spam. 

Malware (for "malicious software") is a general term that refers to any program or file that is harmful to a computer user.  Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and spyware.

Signs of spyware infection include:  excessive pop-up ads, slower than normal page loading speeds, your home page setting has changed without your permission, a new toolbar has been installed without your consent, or strange behavior from your computer.  The best way to find out if your computer is infected is to perform a system scan using FREE SOFTWARE DOWNLOADS like these. 

http://spybot-search-destroy.en.softonic.com

http://www.malwarebytes.org

http://www.superantispyware.com

If you have additional issues, please contact the HelpDesk at 440-826-7000. 

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