Awareness : Security Awareness Tips

Beware of Spyware

Spyware is software designed to collect, record and transmit your computer information to a third party, in order to track the online viewing and spending habits of Internet users. The information tracked includes IP addresses, system configuration, and email address books.

Spyware can also track computer activities such as keystrokes, which can compromise usernames, passwords or credit card numbers. It can disguise itself as a legitimate system update, thereby changing system settings, bypassing anti-virus software, and making the computer more susceptible to hackers.

Most users do not know they have installed spyware as it is often hidden in popular programs such as Hot Bar, Gator, Bonzi Buddy, Comet Cursor, Weather Bug, or Wintools. In addition to tracking your information, these programs can cause frequent pop-up ads, system slowdowns, and crashes. Be careful when downloading any software from the Internet. If you suspect your computer is infected, please contact your System Administrator for further assistance.

Posted November 8, 2004