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Often there may be no sign that a computer has been infected by spyware, until the user realizes that important financial information is stolen. It is often difficult to distinguish whether there is a virus problem or it is caused by spyware. Unlike viruses, spyware does not self replicate.

 

Some of  the signs that your computer is infected by spyware is:
1. You see new toolbars, which you have not installed and pop-ups suddenly appear while surfing the internet.
2. Your browser crashes without any reason

3. Your computer becomes very slow

4. Your home page is changed without your knowledge.

How to fix it:

If there is a problem which could be caused either by spyware or a virus , it is advisable to first run an antivirus program and then run the anti-spyware program.

Get a free antispyware program. Some of  the free antispyware programs available are:

1. Ad-Aware SE Personal from Lavasoft in Google Pack. Free updates and computer has to be scanned manually.

2. Windows Defender (Beta 2) - removes known spyware from the computer

3. Ewido anti-spyware and anti-malware (merged with Grisoft)- now known as AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5, full version is free for 30 days, basic version remains free.

4. Spybot - Search and Destroy - it can also clean usage tracks, which is useful if you are sharing your computer

Download the anti spyware software to your computer hard disk and install the software. Get the latest updates from the companies website. For Ad-Aware SE Personal, a new update with the latest definitions is usually available every 15 days.

Run the anti spyware software. If  any spyware or malware is detected, the anti spyware software will ask you if you wish to remove it. Cookies are also removed, so you may have to login again.

To prevent spyware and malware problems in future

1. Install a firewall to protect your computer when you connect to the internet. If you do not wish to purchase a firewall software, enable the default Windows firewall.

2. Most spyware is written for Windows Internet Explorer and by using a browser like Mozilla Firefox, this problem can be avoided.

3. Download software only from reputable sources, file sharing software like Kazaa is distributed with spyware.

4. Avoid joining paid to (PT) , adult , file sharing and other illegal websites,  these computers of visitors to these websites usually get  infected with malware and spy ware.

System Restore, when antivirus and Spyware remover software does  not work 


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