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Spyware Prevention and Detection

The FDIC reports that:
"The internet has become a popular method for both conducting business and managing finances through online banking relationships. While most financial institutions and some individuals have taken steps to protect their computers, many firewall and anti-virus software packages do not protect computers from one of the latest threats, “spyware” – a form of software that collects personal and confidential information about a person or organization without their proper knowledge or informed consent, and reports it to a third party."

Spyware is usually installed without a user's knowledge or permission. However, users may intentionally install spyware without understanding the full ramifications of their actions.

Spyware can be installed through the following methods:

  • Downloaded with other internet downloads in a practice called “bundling.”
  • Directly downloaded after being convinced that the technology offers some sort of benefit like increased productivity or virus scanning capabilities.
  • Installed through an internet browsing technique called “drive-by downloads.” With this technique, spyware is installed when a user simply visits a website by accepting a download believing it is necessary in order to view the web page.
  • Automatically downloaded when users open or view unsolicited email messages.

Check out the full article and best practices at: http://www.fdic.gov/news/news/financial/2005/fil6605a.html.