Kids Responsible for Spyware on Your Computer?
If you have teenagers in your
house, there is a pretty good chance that it was one of them who infected
your computer with spyware. There are many programs that kids download
because they are "cool" or because a friend is using them. But
chances are that cold download contained spyware.
On the positive side, spy ware
is often easier to remove and fix the damage that if they downloaded and
installed a virus. But it can still be a pain to remove it.
It makes sense to teach your
kids safe surfing habits, and make them
aware that some of those cool programs they want can actually cause major
problems with the computer's performance and sometimes damage it permanently.
So what kind of programs are
the ones that appeal to teenagers and often come bundled with spyware?
- Free games you download
from the Internet
- Filesharing programs, such
as the programs you would use to swap music and movie files
- Smiley programs that send
animated smiley is in e-mail or instant messaging programs
- Toolbars for Internet Explorer,
even specially themed ones such as ones named after popular characters
or celebrities, which can definitely appeal to teenagers
- Free pop-up blocking programs
from a non-reputable source
It is worth noting that not
all of these types of programs will come bundled with spyware. But it
is a popular add-on, and is how free programs often make their money.
You should teach your children
to never download anything on the Internet without your permission. Then
you can check out the program, and see if it is something that comes bundled
with spyware. You can also set user permissions on your computer so that
your children's login IDs are not permitted to download any files, as
an extra precaution.