It's late. You've been scouring the web for that perfect present for your Aunt Bess in Idaho. You finally find it at presents4aunties.com. The site looks a little rough on the edges, weird colors and such. But they have that gift you know will make Aunt Bess add you to her will. You purchase the gift, log off and head to bed. Tired but happy.
The next day, coffee in hand, you turn on your computer. That's strange you say, it's awfully slow this morning. Finally it's booted and ready to go. You open your browser to check the Cow Tipping Blog for the latest posts. What's this you say, My Homepage is now longer the Blog, but a site trying to sell me a DVD of the Smurfs vs. the Terminator! Oh well you say, not quite fully awake. You type in the URL for your Blog and wait. And wait, and wait. Finally it's up! You start to read the mornings postings. You're into the second post about the upcoming Cow Tipping Championship in Vegas when a Popup appears and says you need to go to heartburngone.com for the new revolutionary cure for heartburn. Click here now it says and receive a free gift, the secret cure for Baldness! Weird you think, you click the X to close it. You don't realize by clicking the X that a small hidden piece of code has just been downloaded to your computer. You finish the Blog postings and decide to check your Bank Account. You type in the URL and wait, and wait. Finally the Bank Logon appears. You log in, completely unaware of the code, which is actually a Keylogger, is recording your every keystroke. The Transaction is there for Aunties gift, you're so happy. You log off and remember you forgot to email that document for your Boss. That's ok you say, I can log in from here and send it! Technology is so great ! You log into your work portal and access your email program, find the document, attach it to the email form and send it. You vaguely remember it had something to do with the updated personal info list for all of the employees at your job. It includes their Addresses, email addresses and Direct Deposit Account numbers, also their Logon Names and Passwords to access the Computers at work. Darn you say as another Popup appears, what's wrong with this computer?
Well at least you didn't forget the Bosses Document. Wouldn't want to get in trouble with the Boss. You've a great job, working for the Trans Global Bank after all. Offices all over the world don't you know. Well time to check your Anti-Virus program for updates. Hmmm it says no updates kneeded. You notice the miss-spelling but what the heck, those things happen. Geez the computer is really slow! You decide to reboot, hoping that will fix it. Gripes, now it won't even boot! At least there's a little extra money in the ole Bank Account to get it fixed. The above is fiction. No animals were harmed. But it's scary huh to think it could happen. Granted it's a worse case scenario, but I wonder...
Be smart out there people, learn how to use your Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware programs. Keep them updated, and it they don't work well for your surfing habits, find programs that will. Keep your computer protected, your well being may depend on it.
About the Author: Doug Woodall has a website at http://www.spywarebiz.com
There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware.
He is a member of the IWA (International Webmasters Association)
Article edited for proper content by Wendy McCallum
Permission to copy ok as long as about author info remains with article.
Copyright 2005 SpywareBiz