One of the biggest problems for computers these days seems to be spyware and adware. It seems like everyone has had some form of it and its only getting worse. But what exactly is spyware and adware and how can you get rid of it?
Wikipedia defines spyware as “ Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge.While the term spyware suggests software that monitors a user's computing, the functions of spyware can extend beyond simple monitoring. Spyware can collect almost any type of data, including personal information like Internet surfing habits, user logins, and bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with user control of a computer by installing additional software or redirecting Web browsers. Some spyware can change computer settings, which can result in slow Internet connection speeds, un-authorized changes in browser settings, or changes to software settings.Sometimes, spyware is included along with genuine software, and may come from an official software vendor."
Adware on is similar to spyware except you are informed that it will be placed on your computer. It is usually part of a free software offer where you agree to have it installed as a part of using the software. It usually consists of popup advertisements that you have to look at while using the software.
So how do you know if you have spyware or adware on your system? If your computer suffers from the following symptoms you may be a victim.
Extra toolbars on your web browser.
Random popup ads that aren’t related to the site you are on. Usually adult related.
Your homepage has been changed.
Your computer or internet connection is unusually slow.
New favorites added to your web browser that you didn’t put there.
There are a few things you can do to avoid getting spyware on your computer.
Stay away from questionable sites such as adult sites, hacking sites and sites that promote free commercial software that you would normally have to pay for or music and anything else that sounds illegal.
If while online you get any popups telling you that you are infected with a virus or spyware etc and to click here to fix it, close the window.
Don’t click yes or OK to any popups or install anything while online unless you are certain you know what it is and that it is safe.
Read all license agreements carefully when installing any free software downloaded from the internet.
There are many software programs available today to get rid of spyware but 2 of the most popular and best working programs are Spybot and AdAware and it just so happens that they are free!
Below are the links to download the software to your computer. Then you can install and run the software to get rid of most spyware you may have on your computer. One important thing to remember is that there is always new spyware being developed just like viruses. So you need to make sure to update the software just like you would with your antivirus software.