Privacy on the internet, Over the past few years as the internet has become more and more popular, privacy has become a major issue. Just as if you are walking down the street and can be watched, every click of your mouse every website you browse, or file you download, is traceable. In recent years this has become a major issue.
Spyware: The most currently talked about privacy issue at the moment. Spyware are little programmes that can easily be picked up by surfing any website or downloading files. Spyware can pickup information from where you surf to your credit card details, this information then can be sold.
Generally only the "Dodgy" websites give you Spyware but people are now creating harmless looking websites with real content but only offering a download that may be Spyware. There are many developers trying to create software that will infiltrate the Spyware and take it out, but just as smart these coders are so are the Bad guys. Microsoft are waging war on Spyware by developing their own free downloadable Spyware remover, but already in the beta stages, viruses have been made to stop Microsoft's Anti-Spyware programme in its tracks. This is the lengths these malicious coders will go to, to keep their piece of the pie.
Cookies: Cookies sounds like something yummy, but on the internet cookies can be the opposite. Cookies are great tools as they allow websites to recognise you when you come back to view their pages. The major issue with this is some webmasters collect data on you from passwords to private and personal information. Cookies can even help nasty people to steal your identity.
In 2003 Identity Fraud World Wide was estimated to be approximately $100 Billion USD. By the end of 2005 it is estimated identity fraud will cause up to 5 Trillion Dollars World Wide. It is totally important to protect yourself online. There are plenty of decent quality Spyware removal tools. My current favourite is Ad-Aware, which does a very good job of removing Spyware, and the programme even keeps it self up to date with the latest definitions.
A few more things to keep in mind:
Keep your Anti-Spyware and Anti-Virus software up to date. Regularly run your Anti-Spyware and Anti-virus programmes. Only submit Private and Personal information to Secure Websites. Never give out any personal information to non trusted websites. Clear your internet browser cache regularly. Never assume anyone is as honest as you.