What Counts As Spyware?

Posted on March 8th, 2009 in Computer spy software | Comments Off

If you’ve been using the computer for some time now, you are obviously familiar with anti virus software. However, there is also something else also that you need to have – an anti spyware program or a spy scanner. Spy programs or spyware are by far the most intrusive forms of malware or malicious software around. They track all your computer activities like browsing, mailing, IM’s; even what you may type on the computer. Therefore if you indulge in online banking, transferring of funds, sending and receiving confidential information, etc, it is absolutely essential to have a spy scanner or an anti spyware program of some sort.

spyware cookies adwareThe reason spyware can pose a serious problem is because so many programs and files on the Internet can be thought of as spyware. Take cookies for example. Almost every website you visit will store cookies containing information about you on your hard drive and will retrieve this cookie each time you visit that website. However, cookies are important for browsing and using certain sites. It would be impossible to directly log in to your email account if Gmail or Yahoo did not store a cookie on your computer. A similar opinion is attached to key logging software that many parents may install to track the internet activities of their children, thereby ensuring that they are not indulging in harmful activities on the Internet. Although it may seem intrusive, this does not amount to spying using spyware. Cookies and key logging software when used on one’s own machine are absolutely justified. However, when a website tries to place cookies onto your machine without your informed consent or when someone places a key logging software on YOUR computer without your confirmation, then that amounts to spying.

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HTTP Cookies – Beware or Not?

Posted on February 11th, 2009 in Computer spy software, Internet usage monitoring | Comments Off

HTTP cookies are probably as old as the Internet. These are small files that get written onto your computer’s http browser cookiehard drive every time you visit a website. They are not even files as such, just text packets. These text packets are sent to a web browser (like IE or Firefox) when it connects to any website server on the internet via a server. Then, each time you log back onto the site, the browser will send the cookie back to the server. What purpose does this serve? Well, the cookie contains information as to when you last visited the site, which pages you went to, what you did, and any information you gave out. A simple example: when you sign in to your Gmail account, you use an ID and a password. How does the Gmail server manage to identify that ID and password is correct the next time you visit? Cookies! Thus, cookies are a way of authenticating users. They are also a way of tracking your behavior on the website, each time you visit it. Often on many websites, it is impossible for you to do anything without cookies. For example, the shopping cart feature on websites requires use of cookies.

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