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Internet Pitfalls - Speech

Essay by   •  February 25, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  856 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,300 Views

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The first issue I would like to discuss today is spyware.

Spyware is a term used to describe programs that are downloaded to your computer without your knowledge.

These programs typically generate ads in the form of pop-ups, or browser "hi-jacking". Most people who surf the web are familiar with advertising popups, which are definitely irritating, and can be difficult to get rid of. If your browser is "hi-jacked", you will be re-directed to a completely different web site than the one you type into your browser's address bar. Another symptom of spyware is an overall system slowdown, caused by a number of hidden programs, which commandeer all your processor speed.

While a lot of spyware is not malicious, some can actually retrieve personal information that you have entered into your computer and send it out to the web.

The professionals at the Microsoft Software Corporation have a recommendation to avoid these types of malicious programs from ending up on your computer system. They say on their online knowledge base: "When you install something on your computer, make sure you carefully read all disclosures, including the license agreement and privacy statement."

If you do end up with an unwanted program on your computer, there are many applications available to help you rid your system of them. Usually searching online for "Spyware Removal" will point you in the right direction.

While spyware is a fairly widespread problem, junk email, commonly known as "SPAM" is even more so.

There are many companies, mainly offshore, whose sole purpose is to inundate anyone who has an email address with all kinds of unwanted email. These companies used unsolicited email as a form of advertising. Junk email is usually generated automatically by programs designed to send out thousands of emails each day.

In December of 2006, Postini, a leading email security company, reported that junk email now makes up more than 93% of all emails received.

Usually, the purpose of junk email is to get you to click on an ad or respond to a survey. Other times, you may receive junk email that makes little or no sense at all. Often, these emails are nothing but complete gibberish. What is the point of these emails? Most of the time, the companies generating these messages hope that you will respond to them, or click an "unsubscribe" link in the email. This way, they know the email address they have been sending junk email to is active, and they can flood it with even more SPAM!

Most ISPs have taken steps to reduce the amount of junk email you receive, but as everyone with an email address knows, sometimes, the junk email will slip through anyway. If you are experiencing problems with an excessive amount of junk email, I recommend contacting your email provider or ISP to inquire about filtering services. Usually, they can provide with a solution to the problem, or point you in the right direction.

Both spyware and junk email have paved the way for what we call "cyber-criminals" to develop new and more creative ways to scam Internet users. One of the newest threats to personal and financial security is known as "Phishing".

Simply put, "phishing" is defined as an individual or company "fishing" for your personal information.

They have very clever ways of doing this. You may receive an email

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