Spywares and Adwares:


What are spyware and adware?Although they may sometimes be confused with one another, spyware and adware are different. Spyware is a program or technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organisation, often without their knowledge, and includes programs like hijackers and keyloggers. Adware is typically a program that displays advertising through pop-up or pop-under windows while you are surfing the Web. You may have unknowingly installed spyware or adware when you downloaded programs from the Internet or installed software from disks. Spyware is easy to install but often difficult to remove without downloading specialized anti-spyware programs.

Many applications may display a window or interrupt your activities while you are using your computer. For example, Yahoo! Messenger may display an alert or a chat window from time to time, either of which may contain an advertisement. Most people do not classify these kinds of communications as adware because they were initiated for a purpose other than advertising.
For more information about spyware and adware, including how to scan your computer for such programs and remove them, please search for Spyware and Adware in Google Search.


Checking for Spyware and AdwareYour computer may be running spyware or adware if you see pop-up advertisements on many web pages you visit, if your browser home page has been changed, or if your computer is unusually slow when you are online. It is Yahoo!'s policy not to show pop-up advertisements on the Yahoo! network, although we may present you with a customer feedback survey in a pop-up format and you may see "floating ads" on some of our services.

The best way to identify whether or not spyware or adware is installed on your computer is to run and regularly update anti-spyware programs. Similar to anti-virus software, anti-spyware software identifies and helps you remove spyware and adware.

How Spyware Gets Installed

Here are a few potential ways spyware and adware may find their way onto your computer. Please keep in mind, this is not a comprehensive list:
Unintentional Download
You may intentionally download and install spyware or adware without realising it has an unrelated, secondary purpose that isn't always clearly disclosed. For example, you may be told a program will keep your computer clock synchronised with the atomic clock. If it is spyware or adware, the program may also send information about your browsing habits or display advertising pop-ups whenever you are online. Software Bundle
Spyware and adware may be included (bundled) with programs you download and install. For example, many file-sharing programs require you install additional, unrelated programs that may be considered spyware or adware.


Involuntary Download
You may voluntarily but unintentionally install spyware or adware while surfing the Web. Often times, spyware or adware appears to be corrective software or a special plug-in that will help you view a site. If you don't know the source of the download or aren't sure what a program does, you can generally learn more by searching on the name of that program in Yahoo! Search.
Other Users
Someone else who uses your computer may also install spyware or adware on your computer. They may do so unintentionally in any of the ways mentioned above, or they may maliciously install a program with keystroke logging, to capture passwords or other personal information.
Computer Virus or Worm
A computer virus or worm can also install spyware that could allow someone remote access to your computer, turn your computer into a pornography or spam server, log keystrokes to steal passwords or credit cards, or perform other malicious acts.


Automatic Installation
Some unscrupulous companies use advertisements to automatically begin the installation process for their programs. By default, most browsers will prompt you with a security warning to either continue or stop the installation process. Typically, these warnings don't offer a description of the program or tell you what it will do.
Browsers that allow programs to install without a prompt are security threats and make your computer more susceptible to computer viruses and hacking attempts. Please review documentation for your browser to learn more about how to protect your security. Remember to carefully read pop-up warnings. If you don't expect to install a program or if you aren't sure what the program does, cancel the installation process.


Note: The browser provides the security warning, and the same message is shown during the installation of many different programs.

Avoiding Spyware:
Here are some steps you can take to avoid spyware:
Regularly use anti-spyware software in conjunction with anti-virus software to give your computer maximum protection against spyware and other malicious computer programs. Anti-spyware software may also be available from your ISP or elsewhere online.
Verify the security settings on your browser do not allow programs to be installed without your permission. By default, most browsers will prompt you with a security warning to continue or stop the installation process.
Carefully read pop-up warnings. If you don't expect to install a program or if you aren't sure what the program does, cancel the installation process.
Before downloading and installing programs, investigate them and their publisher.

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