From the Blog
How To Detect And Remove Spyware From Your PC
Spyware can definitely wreak havoc on your computer system. Your computer could be working fine one day at peak performance and with no problems and then the very next day, suddenly you log on and it takes forever to load your basic operating system.
When you finally get logged on and online, you notice how slow things seem to be moving. Pages on the web are taking forever to load and you're getting pop-up windows filled with advertisements. Your homepage is different and filled with more advertisements. You suddenly get a new pop up window with a pornographic image in it. You shake your head wondering what's going on. It's as if your computer has been taken over by someone else.
Well, it has. A spyware program has invaded your machine. The spyware threat is real. Anyone who uses a computer is susceptible to spyware infection. In fact, nine out of 10 Internet-connected PCs are infected with spyware that can:
- Open your PC to identity theft
- Expose your personal information and private accounts
- Corrupt your hard drive
- Share your passwords and user names
Spyware threats can be any application that may track your online or offline PC activity. It may save or transmit those findings to third parties. These unwanted programs are stealthy and often attach to your computer without your knowledge – or appropriate consent. Many nefarious spyware threats can record keystrokes to steal your social security number, bank account information and credit card numbers, or hijack your modem to dial expensive, pornographic phone numbers.
Adware is a different type of program that lets companies track your online activities and tailor pop-up ads based on your choices.
What are the symptoms of spyware?
If you use the Internet, it's very likely some form of spyware threats are already at work on your PC. Your computer may be infected if you recognize any of these symptoms:
- Sluggish PC performance
- An increase in pop-up-ads
- Mysterious new toolbars you can not delete
- Unexplained changes to homepage settings
- Puzzling search results
- Frequent computer crashes
How do spyware threats find Us?
Through seemingly harmless tasks spyware threats may attach itself to your computer. These unwanted programs may start watching your actions right away or the programs may wait, triggering covert activities later. Even if you're careful you can pick up these dangerous, unwanted programs through normal web activities like:
- Sharing music, files or photos with other users
- Visiting a media-supported Web site
- Opening spam e-mail or an e-mail attachment
- Downloading free games, toolbars, media players and other system utilities
- Installing mainstream software applications without fully reading license agreements
How can I remove spyware?
Detecting spyware is tough and spyware removal is even more difficult. Even if you think you've successfully removed an unwanted program manually, a remaining tickler file can trigger a complete reinstallation the next time you start your PC. And as a survival tactic, malware programs often leave similar encounters elsewhere on your system so the game of cat and mouse never ends.
For these reasons, the most effective way to detect and safely remove spyware is your antispyware software. Be cautious about the rogue and suspect antispyware products.