Statistics show Americans have spent more than $9 billion on computer repairs and replacement parts.
That's because of damage from viruses and spyware. Most folks are familiar with viruses, but Consumer Reports says spyware is a growing problem that most people don't understand.
Michael Sheehan turned his computer on one day to find that it had slowed to a crawl. He said, “Ads kept popping up and i was like, what the heck is this, what's going on?"
When Michael took his computer to the shop, he learned it was crippled by spyware. Consumer Reports' Dean Gallea says spyware is an online threat that's growing fast.
Most spyware generates pop up ads that interfere with your browser.
Enough of this and your computer completely freezes up. Consumer Reports says you can fight back. Steer clear of ad sponsored or free downloads that offer games, screen savers, or music. Download software only from sites you trust. And ant-ispyware software is a must.
Consumer Reports top rated Microsoft's windows anti-spyware beta. You can download it free at Microsoft.com. But tests show none of the software catches every variant.
Or you can do what Mike did and get a Mac, Apple computers are less prone to online threats.