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Security: Spyware

What is spyware?

According to spyware is "Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user's Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes."

  • Spyware applications usually come as part of a freeware or shareware program that you download from the Internet.
  • Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and sends that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.
How do I know I have spyware?
  • Spyware uses memory and system resources.
  • The applications run in the background and can lead to system crashes or general system instability.
  • Symptoms:
    • Your computer might be sluggish or irresponsive.
    • Booting your computer may take longer than usual.
How can I minimize the chances of getting spyware?
  • Minimize downloading freeware and shareware.
  • Minimize use of programs such as Weatherbug, AIM, Comet cursor, and others.
  • Problems? For assistance on your campus computer, call the HelpDesk at x6-8555.
  • Please do not install a spyware removal tool on your campus-owned computer.