Examples Of Spyware And What They Are

Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first.

Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.

That does not mean all software that provides ads or tracks your online activities is bad. For example, you might sign up for a free music service, but you “pay” for the service by agreeing to receive targeted ads. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You might also agree to let the company track your online activities to determine which ads to show you.

Other kinds of Spyware make changes to your computer that can be annoying and can cause your computer slow down or crash.

These programs can change your Web browsers home page or search page, or add additional components to your browser you don’t need or want. These programs also make it very difficult for you to change your settings back to the way you originally had them.

The key in all cases is whether or not you (or someone who uses your computer) understand what the software will do and have agreed to install the software on your computer.

There are a number of ways Spyware or other unwanted software can get on your computer. A common trick is to covertly install the software during the installation of other software you want such as a music or video file sharing program.

Any software that covertly gathers user information through the user’s Internet connection without his or her knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with SpyWare. Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers

Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, SpyWare steals from the user by using the computer’s memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spy ware’s home base via the user’s Internet connection. Because SpyWare is using memory and system resources, the applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability.

Because SpyWare exists as independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other SpyWare programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the SpyWare author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.

Licensing agreements that accompany software downloads sometimes warn the user that a SpyWare program will be installed along with the requested software, but the licensing agreements may not always be read completely because the notice of a SpyWare installation is often couched in obtuse, hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

Examples of SpyWare

These common SpyWare programs illustrate the diversity of behaviors found in these attacks. Note that as with computer viruses, researchers give names to SpyWare programs which may not be used by their creators. Programs may be grouped into “families” based not on shared program code, but on common behaviors, or by “following the money” of apparent financial or business connections. For instance, a number of the SpyWare programs distributed by Claria are collectively known as “Gator”. Likewise, programs which are frequently installed together may be described as parts of the same SpyWare package, even if they function separately.

o CoolWebSearch, a group of programs, takes advantage of Internet Explorer vulnerabilities. The package directs traffic to advertisements on Web sites including coolwebsearch.com. It displays pop-up ads, rewrites search engine results, and alters the infected computer’s hosts file to direct DNS lookups to these sites.

o Internet Optimizer, also known as DyFuCa, redirects Internet Explorer error pages to advertising. When users follow a broken link or enter an erroneous URL, they see a page of advertisements. However, because password-protected Web sites (HTTP Basic authentication) use the same mechanism as HTTP errors, Internet Optimizer makes it impossible for the user to access password-protected sites.

o Zango (formerly 180 Solutions) transmits detailed information to advertisers about the Web sites which users visit. It also alters HTTP requests for affiliate advertisements linked from a Web site, so that the advertisements make unearned profit for the 180 Solutions Company. It opens pop-up ads that cover over the Web sites of competing companies.

o HuntBar, aka WinTools or Adware,WebSearch was installed by an ActiveX drive-by download at affiliate Web sites, or by advertisements displayed by other SpyWare programs-an example of how SpyWare can install more SpyWare. These programs add toolbars to IE, track aggregate browsing behavior, redirect affiliate references, and display advertisements.

oZlob Trojan or just Zlob, Downloads itself to your computer via ActiveX codec and reports information back to Control Server. Some information can be as your search history, the Websites you visited, and even Key Strokes.

Technology in Education

Technology has moved at a fast pace over the last decade. Wouldn’t you agree? As a result, many technologies have replaced the need for human resources in some fields, and it has also impacted education drastically.

Before delving into the impacts of technology on education however, consider:

· How travel agents have been largely replaced by online reservation systems.

· In 1901, Charles Holland Duel stated that “Everything that can be invented has been invented”. This was over one century ago, where numerous inventions had yet to be patented and trademarked.

· The number one focus on this list of technological impacts, is how computers and the internet has affected lifestyles and education. Everything can be shared in an instant, and snail mail is no longer the main method of communication. In the past one had to wait a few days before receiving a message, unless a phone or fax were used.

In the 21st century, educational institutions have moved with the times by integrating technology into learning. After all, our educational systems are a critical part of societal norms.

Here are some of the key ways that technology has broadened teaching horizons:

Traditional colleges have adopted online methods of learning, which is otherwise known as online colleges. No longer do students have to relocate from thousands of miles away to get a quality education. All that’s needed is a computer and connection to the internet to plug into online learning.

This has opened up numerous doors for working adults who have previously been restricted by time and resources. The technology of online videos or recorded tutorials allows students to study on their own time, whether day or night.

A study by US News purports that nearly 6.1 million students were enrolled in online college course in 2011. This number is expected to grow as the stigma of online certification has somewhat been lifted due to its increasing popularity in the workplace.

Other ways that technology affects education include the student’s ability to research faster than ever, compared to pouring over books in the library. As an example, a study by the Pew Research Center suggests that digital technologies have helped students to become more self-sufficient researchers.

Educators too have integrated technology into learning, with the distribution of course material and online video, voice, or written tutorials for student references.

Finally, there has also been a dynamic shift in the communication between students and teachers via online, social and digital mediums.

Unethical Search Engine Optimization Explained

If you've ever thought about hiring a professional search engine optimization (SEO) consultant or read about SEO as a subject then you may have seen the term "black hat" mentioned. Let's take a closer look at what black hat SEO really means.

To begin with, we'll revisit what is meant by the term search engine optimization (SEO). SEO referers to methods that improve search engine rankings for a particular website. Techniques can vary but will often involve making the most of the website by ensuring that its content and structure appeal to search engines, as well as visitors.

There are various schools of thought on how best to carry out such optimization. As far as the major search engines are concerned, there are ethical methods of improving search engine rankings and unethical methods.

Within the professional search engine community, ethical techniques are known as "white hat", while techniques that are viewed as unethical have been labeled "black hat".

White Hat SEO involves making the best use of the structure and content of the website to improve rankings. Black Hat techniques will often involve trying to fool a search engine into believing that a particular website is more relevant or highly regarded than it actually is.

Examples of Black Hat methods may include cloaking, which is where a search engine is effectively shown a different version of a website to visitors. Other techniques would include employing hidden text and links.

Although Black Hat SEO can have some impressive results, the major search engines are constantly trying to clamp down on such methods, banning websites who employ them.

For long-term results, ethical White Hat methods are the most effective.

How to Set Up a Family Game Night

Family Game nights allow you to bond with your family and just have a fun time. Here is how you can go about setting one up.

1. Find a time when everyone will be available

Were all busy, the first thing you need to do is to plan it in advanced. Ask other people when they will be available and make it a date to look forward too. Put a reminder on the refrigerator so everyone knows when it is.

2. Find Some Games to play

You can’t have a family game night without games, so try to find some games somewhere; you may only need a deck of cards. You could also ask around and see if anyone knows of a fun game that you guys could play.

3. Decide what snacks you will have

People like to munch on things. Putting out a few cut up vegetables, or some chips can be a great idea. You might even want to replace dinner with snacks at family game night, just to mix things up a little.

4. Decide if it will be in the family

You have to decide if it will only be in the family, so only people in your family will be there, or not. I like the fact of inviting other people. You can invite other people and see if your kids want to invite other people the more the merrier.

This also is a great way to meet who your kids are hanging out with.

5. Have Fun

Family game night is all about everyone having fun and making good memories. So remember to go in it with a positive attitude and be happy. Remember if you aren’t having fun it can rub off and make it so no one is having fun either.