Frequently Asked Questions
What is Spyware and why is it dangerous?
There is an abundance of software programs available for download that are "free". The trouble with these downloads is that they also load software that gathers information from your computer. This software is called "Spyware" and it poses a threat to security.
The most threatening of them are "keystroke loggers", which are used to track what you type on your keyboard. User ID's and passwords can be easily intercepted, making encryption and password-protected areas of Web sites useless. But besides leaving you prone to having your most guarded information intercepted, Spyware eats memory and bandwidth, which causes your system to slow down and crash more often. AND -- this is a big one -- Spyware is not picked up by most anti-virus software.
How does spyware get into your computer?
Just as cookies are planted behind-the-scenes by the Web sites you visit, software you install, and Internet sites you browse leave behind Spyware. In fact, some popular music sharing services -- including KaZaA -- have recently caused a stir because it was discovered they were planting spyware. But don't worry. You can protect yourself and your system.
There are programs such as Ad-Aware SE Personal that will look over your hard drive and remove Spyware.
Click on this link and download Ad-Aware Free if you think you have downloaded programs that have Spyware.
Another good spyware removal software is Spybot Search & Destroy from safer-networking.org.
If you are not comfortable with downloading, please call the Helpdesk (399) and we will provide assistance. Off campus UHV computer users will need to bring your computer in to either the University of Houston Victoria or University of Houston System at Sugar Land campus.
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