Spyware Information Center From Webroot

The Truth About Spyware

Webroot Frequently Asked Questions

Real-world Facts All Internet Users Must Know

You may know spyware by one of its many names; adware, malware, trackware, scumware, thiefware, snoopware, sneakware.

Because of its stealthy nature, most Internet users are more familiar with the symptoms of spyware infection:

1. sluggish PC performance
2. increased pop-up ads
3. unexplained homepage change
4. mysterious search results.
For virtually everyone with an Intenet connection, spyware is a nuisance, but its undetected presence on your PC can lead to much more serious consequences like identity theft.

Spyware facts

Experts view spyware as a real threat to consumers and businesses. If you're online, you should be concerned about spyware.

1. Nine out of 10 PCs connected to the Internet are infected with spyware.*

2. A recent spy audit report published by Earthlink and Webroot found an average of 26.5 spyware traces are present on a given PC. In a six-month period, two million scans found 55 million pieces of spyware.

3. 92% of corporate IT managers at companies with more than 100 employees claim they have a "major" spyware problem.**

How does spyware find you?

Even if you're careful, you can pick up spyware through normal Internet activities.

1. Visit any media-supported website and you're bound to get a tracking cookie

2. Share music, files or photos with other users

3. Install software applications without fully reading license agreements

Isn't spyware just another passing trend that will eventually fade away?

Unfortunately, no. Spyware makers have found a viable financial model that supports continued activity, whether it's legal or not. Unlike most other Internet threats, such as viruses that are purely malicious in nature, spyware creators profit enormously by selling information on your surfing habits, redirecting you to sites you didn't intend to visit, or by bombarding you with pop-up ads. Since it is almost impossible to find and stop spyware makers, or reduce the lucrative financial opportunity, spyware is here to stay.

What can you do if you get spyware on your PC?

If you don't want it on your computer, you can try to remove spyware manually. However, spyware removal is a difficult and complicated process for even the most experienced computer user. For the best spyware protection, many consumers today are turning to anti-spyware software like Webroot Spy Sweeper, which detects and safely removes malicious spyware applications from your system.

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