Spyware has the potential to be more dangerous than any virus because it records your keystrokes, history, passwords, and other confidential and private information and sends that information to the creator. This information is typically gathered with what is known as a "tracking" cookie. This differs from a "session" cookie which tracks useful information such as your preferences for a specific web site. Session cookies are harmless and serve to make your online experience faster.
Spyware applications are often sold as spouse monitors, child monitors, and surveillance tools or as tools used to spy on users trying to gain unauthorised access. Spyware covertly gathers user information and monitors activity without the user's knowledge. Whatever is done on the computer is completely viewable. Internet connectivity is not necessary for spyware to effectively gather information. Some software will even save logs to be transmitted later. The latest spyware includes the use of e-mail to send user activity or post data on the web to be viewed by the creator at their leisure. The entire process runs transparently in the background. Some spyware vendors use "stealth routines" and "polymorphic" techniques to avoid detection and removal by popular anti-spyware software. Spyware can also slow your computer down or cause disconnection from the AOL service.
The AOL service provides an online area with specifically designed content to help you control and understand spyware on your PC. For members using AOL 8.0 or above, you can download the latest AOL Spyware Protection when you sign on to your AOL software and visit Keyword: Spyware. This keyword links you to our advanced AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 software. AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 can help detect and disable or remove possible spyware.
About AOL Spyware Protection
For Windows 98 and Me users, AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 now offers two types of scans to search for and eliminate spyware and adware from your computer.
The new quick scan feature saves you time and computer resources by only scanning the areas on your computer where the majority of spyware programs usually reside, the Program Files and Windows directories. Quick scan takes roughly 1 to 5 minutes.
Full scan runs a comprehensive and exhaustive scan of the entire hard drive, inspecting all files on your computer for known spyware and adware. Depending on the size of your hard drive, full scans can take approximately 45 to 60 minutes.
For Windows 2000 and XP users, AOL Spyware Protection is included with AOL Safety and Security centre. If you do not have AOL Safety and Security Centre yet, you can download when you sign in to AOL and visit Keyword: Safety.Change your Internet Explorer settings to help protect against spyware
After you have cleaned your computer of the unwanted spyware or adware programs from your computer, you can protect yourself by not downloading software programs from the internet. Another thing you can do is optimise your browser's security settings since Internet Explorer is the main target of these programs.Back to FAQs
The quick scan functionality in AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 saves you time and valuable computer resources. Unlike a full scan, which does a comprehensive and lengthy scan of the entire hard drive, quick scan only scans the areas on your computer where the majority of spyware resides --the Program Files and Windows directories.
To perform a Quick Scan with AOL Spyware Protection 2.0:
Scanning your computer frequently for potential surveillance and/or advertising software is suggested. Depending on how much you use your computer, you may need to scan more often.
To set scan schedule for AOL Spyware Protection 2.0:
Note: By default AOL Spyware Protection will scan your computer once a week starting one week after the day it was installed on your computer.Back to FAQs
Some programs that may get blocked by AOL Spyware Protection may be legitimate programs that you use on your computer.
To restore applications blocked by AOL Spyware Protection 2.0:
A new feature with AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 is active scanning. Active scanning scans your PC automatically to look for new instances of spyware and adware that are being loaded into memory. If something new is detected, AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 will then alert you through a pop-up, offering to disable or allow the new item. In cases where you have already disabled a certain spyware application, you now have the ability to re-enable the application.
Active Scanning also integrates AOL Spyware Protection 2.0 with the AOL SpyZapper. When your computer starts up, SpyZapper will display after the Windows operating system is completely loaded.
To turn off this notification in AOL Spyware Protection 2.0:
If you've run the AOL Spyware Protection program and found that some spyware remains on your system, the best thing to do is to run more than one spyware program and frequently check for program updates. Sign on to AOL and go to Keyword: Spyware for details on other programs.
If all else fails, you need to contact your computer manufacturer for assistance. The solution may be to back up everything on your computer and reinstall your Windows operating system. This may be the only way to clear these stubborn spyware applications.