How To Remove Spyware
Introduction to Spyware
Spyware is a general term used to describe software that performs certain behaviors such as advertising, collecting personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent first. Spyware can also lead to system crashes and general system instability. It is a computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, thus performing actions that the user is not supposed to experience. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software, redirecting Web browser activity, or diverting advertising revenue to a third party. It does not directly spread in the manner of a computer virus or worm: generally, an infected system does not attempt to transmit the infection to other computers.
Spyware can also come bundled with shareware or other downloadable software programs. Occasionally, spyware authors will bundle spyware with legitimate program downloads, in order to circumvent removal of the spyware during the installation of a more preferred program. Spyware that is included with downloadable software is generally installed in a manner that prevents the user from obtaining the full benefits of the program, and usually does not provide the best solutions for the problems that computer users encounter. Users who end up installing the unwanted program upon visiting a given web site will be hit by a variety of annoying advertisements, replace the web browser control so that unwanted web sites now redirect the user to another site, or display pop-up ads on the screen. These advertisements often redirect the user to an online adult site, where they can spend hours surfing the Internet at their own leisure.
On the other hand, subscription services and software that you buy from a purchased program can have some pretty cool features. For example, you might pay a certain monthly fee to have automatic updates and addition of latest breaking news or issues to your computer. Then, you’ll receive an email with a hot news tip or issues to consider. This is how you become a member of the program and you’ll want to update your program to make sure you’re completely protected against the latest threats. But members of this program don’t feel entirely safe when enjoying this great service. Virus writers and hackers, as well as innocent third parties who happens to be using the same computer and shareware copies of programs or software, can also become infected with spyware. You might notice some processes running that should not be running. Slogans, trojans, worms, and viruses can also spread from one computer to another.
The question is, how can you tell if you have spyware on your computer?
Below are detectable symptoms of spyware:
– Your PC is running slower than normal.
– You are bombarded with repeated pop-up ads.
– New items appear in your desktop directory without your having anything to do with it.
– You execute and execute program files that are not which they are supposed to be.
– There is a new virus in the downloads section, which is not a worm, trojan or virus.
However, there are websites out there that merely pose as if they had nothing to do with the above list. They make themselves look like a cool place to people who are new to the concept of spyware. They make themselves look like experts or authorities who recommend specific types of programs or products. The problem is, many of these sites actually contain harmful programs, or web bugs, which are designed to wreak havoc on your computer. But wait! There’s more!
Hackers also develop spyware and adware, which will record every type of information you type on your computer. They will know which web sites you visit and if you have ever downloaded any programs. This information is then sent back to hackers and sellers of these products online, who will now target you with their offers. Things are not any better than they were seven or eight years ago.
Your privacy is being threatened on all fronts. Is a spyware routine OK with you? How about an e-mail virus? Even a little bit of spyware can load your computer with annoying ads, slow down your computer, and damage software.
You computer should signal to you that something is wrong if:
If any of the above are happening to you, it probably means you have spyware on your computer. And, if you have the Google toolbar, it might be tracking you back to your browser.
Protect your browser from getting spyware
One great tool you have at your disposal in the battle against spyware and adware is the Mozilla Firefox web browser. Firefox is truly a world class browser.