What is spyware?
Spyware is the general term for any program that monitors your actions on your computer. There are thousands of spyware programs out there that cause pop-ups and slow down your computer. Spyware programs gather information about your online activities and choices and send this information to servers on the web. Spyware is usually hidden so you might not be aware that it’s on your computer.
How did I get spyware on my computer?
Spyware is installed on your machine with legitimate programs you purchase or download and then install on your computer. It’s often a part of free software downloaded from the Internet. Spyware can be loaded from web pages you surf as well. Sometimes a security warning will alert you to spyware, but it’s easy to ignore these warnings if you’re not sure what they mean.
How do I get rid of spyware?
Since spyware programs provide no real benefit and usually hurt your computer's performance, it’s best to get rid of them. You can remove some spyware programs by simply uninstalling them from the Add/Remove Programs menu. To get there:
- Click on Start
- Depending on your operating system, click on Settings, then Control Panel
- You'll find an option to Add/Remove Programs and that will open a new menu that shows the software installed on your computer. Select the software you want to get rid of, and click Remove.
- It’s a good idea to restart your computer after you’re finished uninstalling software, even if you're not prompted to do so.
Unfortunately, not all spyware programs show up in the Add/Remove Programs list. If you still have spyware issues such as frequent pop-ups and decreased computer performance, try option 2.
You can download a program such as AdAware, Spybot, and CWShredder to remove spyware from your computer as well. These programs will find not only the common spyware programs listed below, but also spyware that is hidden and hard to remove. Spyware programs can hide very well and can be extremely hard to remove manually. So you may want to run AdAware or Spybot even if you’re not having spyware problems. Spybot even has an "Immunize" feature that can prevent spyware from entering your system, much like antivirus software.
To download any of these programs, click on the links below.
If you are still having spyware problems after using these spyware removal programs, contact us.