Spyware is a problem affecting millions of computers around the world, but the scariest part is - most people don't even know their computers are infected. If you own a computer and you use the Internet (and don't all computer owners surf the Net?) you must know how to handle spyware. Fortunately, this seemingly daunting task can be accomplished in 4 not-so-tough steps.
First Of All, Just What Is Spyware?First there were computer viruses and now there is spyware. What's the difference? And to make matters worse, over the years the line has blurred. To keep things simple, it can be said that viruses cause downtime on computer systems while spyware surreptitiously gathers information. And if it gathers info, sooner or later it'll send that data to someone - who has sinister plans for it. Depending on the kind of spyware infecting your system, you may just see a bunch of *** o ads popping up now and then or you may have all the funds removed from your bank account. So. . . spyware must go.
The 4 Steps to Delete Spyware from Your Computer
- Choose a good spyware scanner.
- Perform a full scan of your computer.
- Remove any spyware found.
- Scan again and call in professional help if needed.
You Need an Effective Anti-Spyware ApplicationFirst, you need good spyware detection software, more simply called a spyware scanner. There are a few ways to find one:
- Ask friends and family. See what anti-spyware apps they're using. . . if they're using anything.
- Check online forums. A good idea. You'll always find a few suggestions in forums.
- Go to Download.com or Tucows.com. They have excellent software available for download. Anything rated 5 stars on Download.com or 5 “cows" on Tucows (Tucows doesn't use stars, they use cows, of course) is exceptional software that you should seriously consider acquiring. I personally won't have anything to do with spyware scanners unless they have good reviews on at least one of those sites.
Whatever software you choose, make sure you get the kind that does not just check file names. You need spyware detection software that will actually “drill" into the code of the file itself to see if it's really spyware or not. Spyware makes great use of stealth tactics to hide.
Your Computer Must be Fully ScannedMost scanners provide you with the option of doing a “quick" scan of your computer - this will not suffice. Your entire computer needs to be scanned for spyware. Select the FULL or COMPLETE scan option and begin scanning your computer. Then sit back and wait. This could take a while. Anywhere from 10 minutes to 3 hours. It all depends on the spyware detection software, the speed of your computer and how many files you have.
Delete Spyware Once it has been DetectedOnce your spyware scanner has found spyware, it usually quarantines it and then leaves the rest up to you. You can then delete it from quarantine or (depending on the software) you can have it deleted automatically. It's a good idea to automatically quarantine any suspected spyware. Then you can take a look at it and verify for yourself if it's spyware or not - just in case the software tagged a file that's not “dirty. " Then feel free to delete it.
Scan again and Get Help if NeededThis part could get tricky. Reboot your computer and perform one more full scan and see what comes up. I hate to tell you this, but spyware is very persistent and has ways of regenerating itself. I've deleted spyware only to have it return after a reboot. If a spyware program has returned, but it's in the restore directory - don't panic. Your spyware scanner's on its toes. It deleted the offender the first time and it'll delete the dirty file this time (spyware often tries to return through the restore directory). But if the malicious program is back in the same directory - then you have a problem. Your scanner failed to remove all traces of it.
The best thing to do is disconnect your computer from the Internet and look through the Yellow Pages under “computer service" or “computer repair/cleaning. " You need to get some knowledgeable help to get rid of that spyware, especially if it's high risk.
Spyware infests millions of computers around the world and is responsible for untold losses in damaged property and loss of funds. It even enslaves computers to make them part of a “zombie" army to pump out spam. Don't be a victim. Turn the tables on spyware and banish it from your system with a few simple, but effective steps.
9 out of 10 computers are infected with spyware. Some computers even have to be replaced to get rid of this menace - at great expense. But you don't have to be a victim. Find out how to remove 100% of the spyware infecting your computer and keep it off - forever - by following this link. . . http://killspywaredead.clicktek4u.com/delete-spyware/
Will Sharp is a free lance writer and full time researcher.