The Internet contains many threats that can do harm to your computer or lead to identity theft. It is important to protect yourself through helpful applications that can scan for threats and offer real-time protection of your computer. Although focused more toward spyware, Spybot—Search & Destroy offers a variety of protection, including an Immunization mode that keeps a continual form of protection running as you surf the Web.
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What Is Spyware?
Spyware is a kind of malicious software, much like a computer virus. Like many computer threats, spyware is often downloaded under the guise of a more helpful program, preying on computer users who don’t fully understand how malicious software is spread. Spyware monitors your website viewing habits, creating a profile without your knowledge that can then be sold to advertising companies. Spyware can sometimes include keylogger software that captures passwords and other personal information, which can lead to identity theft. The more malicious spyware can redirect Web browsers to other websites and affect the speed of an infected computer. All of these behaviours are unwanted, which is where software like Spybot—Search & Destroy comes in.
Spybot—Search & Destroy is a free program for Windows operating systems that checks your computer for known spyware threats. The program keeps a database that is continually updated as new threats are discovered. Spybot then scans your computer for spyware, adware, keyloggers and Trojan viruses that may have infected the computer. If a threat is found, Spybot can remove the problematic software, creating a backup in case the removal of a threat causes an issue with the computer.
Spybot—Search & Destroy has two operating modes. The default mode is designed for new users to easily operate, but contains most of the important features of the program, including searching and removing potential threats to the computer. A more advanced mode allows you to schedule regular scans of your computer and to change the appearance of the program through various skins.
The Immunization mode on Spybot—Search & Destroy is a passive protection for your computer that operates as you surf the Internet, checking for threats through your Web browser before they potentially infect your computer. Immunisation protects your Web browser from being altered by spyware, and keeps the user from accidentally downloading spyware. Using its database for reference, Immunization mode also blocks websites known to contain malicious code.
Although the Immunization mode keeps a constant form of protection running, the developers of the application still suggest running regular scans of your machine. Additionally, in its review of Spybot—Search & Destroy, CNET suggests using Spybot as a second form of protection from spyware, operating it in tandem with another antivirus software.
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