How to check for Spyware?

What is Spyware:

Spyware is a type of software that is installed on your computer to watch and record your activity.

What does it do:

  Some types of spyware record your keystrokes and information that you type into websites or other programs and then use that information for targeted advertising or identity theft. These programs can be installed on your computer in many ways, but often they are hidden inside of software such as free games, screen savers, or animated cursors.

How to Detect Spyware:

Here are some signs that your computer might be infected with spyware:
  • You notice new tool bars, links, or favorites that you didn't intentionally add to your web browser.
  • Your home page, mouse pointer, or search program changes unexpectedly.
  • You type the address of a specific website into your web browser, but you're taken to a completely unrelated     website.
  • You see pop-up ads, even if your computer isn't connected to the Internet.
  • Your computer suddenly starts running slowly. Not all computer performance problems are caused by spyware,     but spyware can cause a noticeable change.

How to Remove Spyware Manually

Spyware can sometimes be hard to remove. If an antispyware program notifies you that it can't remove spyware, follow the instructions provided by the antispyware program. If that doesn't work, try these options:
  • Try installing an antivirus or another antispyware program. Many antivirus programs also come with antispyware     protection.
  • Check Programs and Features for items that don't belong on your computer.
  • Use this method with extreme caution. Control Panel lists many programs, most of which are not spyware. Many     spyware programs use special installation methods to avoid showing up in Programs and Features. Occasionally,     a spyware program will offer an uninstall option and can be removed with this method. Only remove programs     that you can positively identify as spyware, and don't remove programs that you might want to keep, even if you     don't use them very often.
  • Re install Windows.
  • Some spyware can hide itself so well that it can't be removed. If you still see evidence of spyware after trying to     remove it with an antispyware program or after trying to uninstall it using Control Panel, you might need to     reinstall Windows and your programs.
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