Has your computer ever become so slow that you can fix yourself a snack in the time it takes your word processor to open? Spyware may be to blame.
Spyware is a category of computer programs that attach themselves to your operating system in nefarious ways. They can suck the life out of your computer's processing power. They are designed to track your Internet habits, nag you with unwanted sales offers or generate traffic for their host Web site. According to recent estimates, more than two-thirds of all personal computers are infected with some kind of spyware [ref]. But before you chuck your computer out the window and move to a desert island, you might want to read on. This HowStuffWorks article explains how spyware gets on your computer, what it does there and how to get rid of it.