How To

  Homes arrow How To arrow Detangling the Web--Beware Spyware
 Webmaster Tools
Base64 Encoding 
Browser Settings 
CSS Coder 
CSS Navigation Menu 
Datetime Converter 
DHTML Tooltip 
Dig Utility 
DNS Utility 
Dropdown Menu 
Fetch Content 
Fetch Header 
Floating Layer 
htaccess Generator 
HTML Encoder 
HTML Entities 
IP Convert 
Meta Tags 
Password Encryption
Password Strength
Pattern Extractor 
Ping Utility 
Pop-Up Window 
Regex Extractor 
Regex Match 
Scrollbar Color 
Source Viewer 
Syntax Highlighting 
URL Encoding 
Web Safe Colors 
Forums Sitemap 
Weekly Newsletter
Developer Updates  
Free Website Content 
 RSS  Articles
 RSS  Forums
 RSS  All Feeds
Write For Us 
Contact Us 
Site Map 
Privacy Policy 
  >>> SIGN UP!  
  Lost Password? 

Detangling the Web--Beware Spyware
By: Developer Shed
  • Search For More Articles!
  • Disclaimer
  • Author Terms
  • Rating:  stars stars stars stars stars / 0

    Table of Contents:

    Rate this Article: Poor Best 
      Del.ici.ous Digg
      Blink Simpy
      Google Spurl
      Y! MyWeb Furl
    Email Me Similar Content When Posted
    Add Developer Shed Article Feed To Your Site
    Email Article To Friend
    Print Version Of Article
    PDF Version Of Article




    Detangling the Web--Beware Spyware
    by Matt McGovern

    Did you know that most major Web sites--some of them popular and respected Web sites--download unwanted spyware on your computer when you visit?

    At its most benign level, spyware is used by Web sites to track your browsing and purchasing habits. Taken a step further, spyware might even capture personally identifiable data and credit card information.


    A misconception for many is that anti-virus software protects from these unwanted intrusions. But that's not the case. Just as a "virus" in the real world is different from a "bacteria" or "parasite," the same can be said of a virus in the cyber- world. It's NOT the same as spyware.

    Anti-virus software protects against KNOWN computer virus attacks. A virus is best described as malicious programming code intended to replicate itself and in so doing render a user's computer system or network inoperable.

    Spyware is something different. It's meant to stealthily co-exist with your computer's system and program files, tracking and reporting information through your Internet Explorer browser--usually without your knowledge. Like a parasite, spyware infects the host with hooks into your computer's registry and system files--hooks that you most likely don't know about.


    At it's most insidious, spyware parasites can actually hijack or take over your Web browser--making it non-responsive to your commands, and forcing you to sites against your will.

    Recovering from a spyware infection can sometimes be a daunting and frustrating task. But luckily there are resources available to help guard against getting infected by this silent menace.


    As my primary (but not only) protection, I use "Spybot Search & Destroy (v1.3)" which is a very popular, very effective and FREE anti-spyware application (donations are 'welcome' says the program's author). This tool is easy-to-use and can be configured to run silently on your system, preventing the download of known spyware and other such malicious code via Internet Explorer.

    As with all such tools, however, it's only effective when it is kept up-to-date! Use at your own risk and be sure to read carefully the instructions for downloading and setting up the application.

    For more information, visit

    A great informational resource can be found at This Web site is a forum for discussion, downloads, advice, and information related to all sorts of computer problems and technical issues, with an entire thread dedicated to the topic of spyware. Simply use the "Google" search utility on the "" home page (mid-way down the left-side column) to search the site for the information you want. But be forewarned--much of this site is for the technically inclined!


    There are countless other anti-spyware and anti-parasite tools available out there, some for free, some at a cost. Some are fairly automated, some a bit more hands-on. My advice, if you're not comfortable navigating the spyware landscape yourself, is to contact a trusted technical resource and have him or her set-up protection on your computer and/or network.


    Copyright (c) 2004 by Matt McGovern--All rights reserved.

    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matt McGovern combines a rare blend of creative and technical know-how with years of management experience and a balanced and purposeful approach to life. He has authored and edited numerous books, e-books and e-zines. Get "Know-How" his free e-newsletter at or explore ageless wisdom with his novel, "CURRENTS," at

    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

    More How To Articles
    More By Developer Shed



    - Traffic Down One Month? Don`t Panic
    - How to Handle Fake Reviews
    - Facebook Game Update Tweaks
    - Facebook Profile Tweaks
    - How To Download Your Facebook Profile
    - Facebook Tips for Hiding Your Friends List
    - Facebook Tips to Avoid Unwanted Friend Reque...
    - Blog Contests: Do it Right
    - Simple Technique for Memorable Headlines
    - Understanding Your Analytics Results
    - Your Guide to Creating Quality Back Links
    - Getting Your True Ranking: Going Beyond Goog...
    - Optimizing for Google
    - The Right Way to Build Reciprocal Links
    - Monetization: How Not to Put Multiple Ad Ven...

    Developer Shed Affiliates


    © 2003-2018 by Developer Shed. All rights reserved. DS Cluster - Follow our Sitemap