Because spyware doesn’t progressively destroy a computer’s functioning like viruses and worms do, it may be possible to simply ignore the fact that your computer is infected. Many people figure that it is better to simply keep closing all those annoying pop-up ads rather than bother with antispyware software, some of which can be very expensive. Ignoring the fact you have spyware is a temporary solution but it can end up costing you in the long run.
Much of the spyware software now will disable firewalls, disable anti-virus software, and change browser security settings to low. This allows for further infection of your computer by other spyware software or viruses and worms. At first, you may just have a few pop-up ads. Later, this may progress to the point where the pop-ups come faster than you can click to close them or your computer is getting destroyed by a cocktail of viruses as though your computer has an immune deficiency disease.
Spyware software makers were aware that this change in security settings would allow other spyware to get into the computer. Because spyware companies are in competition against each other, some spyware actually destroys other spyware which is on your computer. This also keeps users from taking action against spyware because the problem never seemingly gets too bad. The spyware maker Avenue Media actually sued one of its competitors called Direct Revenue because the company disabled its spyware. The two companies settled the dispute by agreeing not to disable each other’s products.
Aside from the lowered security settings that many spyware programs create, you may have gotten a virus or worm with your spyware in a bundled package. This cocktail of computer infections can do serious and even irreversible damage. Even if you don’t have an additional problem other than spyware, you can never be sure exactly what the spyware is doing and what information of yours it is accessing – such as your credit card numbers.
By ignoring the threat of spyware, you are setting up your computer for a potential disaster. Antispyware programs can be very expensive however, if you take the time to educate yourself, there are plenty of free antispyware programs. Even if you opt for the paid versions, it is better to spend that money now than to pay to have your computer completely reconfigured in the future after the spyware problem gets out of control.