Spyware and Adware - Symptoms and Removal - by Debbie Jacobsen
Spyware and Adware Facts:
the more than one billion computers on the internet today,
80% are not protected against spyware and adware.
- Spyware is the most common and most dangerous internet
security threat today
- Spyware is designed to steal our personal information
so it can be used for illegal purposes.
- It is estimated that 60% of computers are infected
with spyware and/or adware.
- Spyware is usually installed on our computers without
our knowledge. We are usually "tricked" into
installing adware by failing to read lengthy license agreements.
- Free software and cheap software usually contains spyware and/or adware.
- Free adware removers and free anti spyware software usually contains spyware.
- You can get spyware simply by browsing to an unscrupulous website.
- The amount of spyware on the internet has doubled within the past year, and will continue to grow significantly.
- Anti Spyware software is necessary to remove adware and spyware, and prevent you from getting it again. Antivirus software is not capable of removing all spyware and adware.
Spyware is a small program or piece of code that is secretly
installed on your computer and designed to "spy" on your online
activity and/or personal information. Although not all spyware
is used for illegal purposes, most of it can be very dangerous
due of its ability to record keystrokes, take snapshots of our
PC screen, and monitor everything we do online. Spyware
that is used to commit crimes is called crime-ware.
Spyware gathers information and transmits it to the person who
planted it. This person may use it himself or sell it to others.
If the stolen data includes bank account or credit card
information, you can be certain it will be used for a criminal's
personal gain. Other stolen information such as social security
numbers, drivers license numbers, addresses, etc..., is often
used in identity theft.
Symptoms of Spyware
Spyware is designed to run quietly in the background of our PC,
and is normally not detectable unless you have a lot of it. The
most common signs that your computer is infested with spyware is:
Meet Spyware's Close Cousin - Adware
- Your computer is running much slower than usual.
- Your computer takes a lot longer to boot up than it used to.
- You see a lot of activity on your network connection.
A close relative of spyware is commonly known as adware. Adware
intrudes on your privacy much like spyware does, but unlike
spyware which is designed to steal confidential information,
adware's purpose is usually related to marketing. In its most
innocent form, adware tracks your browsing habits, the type of
ads you click on, bookmarks you make and other similar online
A more dangerous and unsavory form of adware is designed to
force you to look at certain advertisements or websites. This
type of adware is often used to lure you to a place where
spyware can be installed. Because adware's purpose is designed
to get you to perform an action, it is much easier to recognize
Common Symptoms of Adware:
How to Detect and Remove Spyware and Adware
- A hijacked browser home page. When you open your browser you
see a different website.
- Pop-up ads that won't quit.
- New icons or shortcuts on your desktop or new items in your
- New web pages keep opening by themselves.
- Search results that make no sense. Clicking on the links here
will install spyware on your PC.
Obviously, spyware and adware are NOT something you want
to have on your computer. The only way to detect and remove all
the spyware and adware on your PC is to use anti-spyware
software. There are many good anti spyware products on the
market, and many are available to try for free before you buy.
Because free adware removers and free anti-spyware
software is often designed to trick you into installing more
adware and spyware on your computer, it is best to stay
away from free spyware removers and free adware removers.
Some Recommended Anti Spyware Software to Consider: