How Does Spyware Work?

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Spyware is different than typical viruses in that they don't intentionally cause damage to a computer system, although they are used to gather information from the system. Learn about side effects of spyware, such as reduced system speed, with help from a Web designer in this free video on spyware.

Part of the Video Series: Web Site & Internet Help
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Video Transcript

Hi I'm Noah and I'm going to tell you about how spyware works. Spyware differs from a typical virus in a way that it doesn't intentionally cause damage to your system as its main purpose whereas a virus does. Spyware is made to actually get information from your system or to cause your system to go to certain advertisements or something like this so any for example reduced system speed that it causes is actually not its main function but rather a side effect. The way it works is that once you have somehow downloaded some spyware and its managed to install itself is that you can either for example record your keystrokes on your keyboard meaning that anything you type can be saved and sent back to some preferred user. This can especially be dangerous for example if you are entering a credit card number and it manages to record that number. Spyware can also be used to direct you to certain advertisements where somebody can get credit for making you go on those ads and therefore get paid for making you see those. If you have been infected by spyware though don't worry there are two handy free tools which you can use to get rid of it. One is Ad-Aware Free Edition which can be foudn at Lovasoft.com and the other is Spybot Search and Destroy which you can find at www.safer-networking.org. Both these programs are completely free and will scan your system for any spyware and remove any that it finds.

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