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Spyware is just what it sounds like—software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer to let others peer into your activities on the computer.
Some spyware collects information about you without your consent or produces unwanted pop-up ads on your web browser.
A special agent in our Cyber Division offered the following: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information.
Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers.
Be wary of ads on the Internet offering downloadable antispyware—in some cases these products may be fake and may actually contain spyware or other malicious code. Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes.
Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or a botnet that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.
The FBI is educating and warning citizens about certain risks and dangers associated with the use of Peer-to-Peer systems on the Internet.
Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.
Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software.
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For the the latest e-scams and warnings, visit the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.