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Barracuda Spyware/Malware Tool (On-Campus only) - to download and scan your computer for malware and spyware
Spyware is defined as any software that covertly gathers and monitors user information through the user's Internet connection without their knowledge and reports back to a server on the Internet. Spyware is commonly used as a universal term to include this type of software along with other malicious programs and ad-ware.
Most Spyware is used as an advertising tool but some of the programs are more malicious in intent. The more malicious Spyware is designed to obtain personal information such as passwords, financial information, and other sensitive information. Spyware also causes operational problems for your computer, causing it to slow down and not function properly.
Most Spyware is installed unknowingly by the user. It comes packaged with other software that a user might want installed on their computer, such as screen savers, file sharing programs, and downloadable games. Some Spyware can also be downloaded and installed by simply going to a website. So it is very important to visit and install software from a trusted site.
Most people are not even aware that they have Spyware running on their computer. Since any computer that is or has been connected to the internet is susceptible to Spyware then a majority of computer are infected with Spyware. The most common signs are a large increase in pop-up ads while surfing the internet and a significant slower performance rate on your computer. The only way to know for sure if you have Spyware is to run a removal program and see if it detects any, listed below are two programs we recommend using.
We recommend using the products listed below for removal of Spyware. These programs are freely available on the Internet and have worked well for us here on campus. For best results we recommend running the scans on a regular basis, such as daily or weekly.
Some antivirus companies are starting to offer Spyware detection along with their standard virus protection, but it is still advised that you run multiple programs specifically designed to deal with Spyware.
As with antivirus, firewalls offer some protection against Spyware but it is still recommended that you run multiple programs specifically designed to deal with Spyware.
The best way to prevent infection of Spyware is to limit your exposure to known sources of Spyware. So we recommend only visiting trusted sites that you know are good and not installing any additional or unneeded software on your computer. It is a good rule of thumb that nothing is free anymore, and this definitely includes things you find on the Internet, so if you are not paying any monetary value for it you may be paying for it with the performance of you computer and personal information.
Below is a link to a site that provides an updated list of known Spyware programs. If you have noticed a program running on you computer and you are not sure if its Spyware or not please visit this site and check.