May 10, 2010 -- posted by Navin
Anyone who has used a computer for a considerable amount of time has definitely has had his share of spywares. Spyware is software installed on your computer generally without your knowledge which collects your personal information. A spyware may be used to send you pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites, monitor your Internet surfing, or record your keystrokes, which, in turn, could lead to identity theft. If you wanna read more on how spyware works I recommend the Howstuffworks article.
Some of the most common symptoms of a spyware are:
– Getting random Pop-ups
– Not being able to browse the internet without getting redirected to random pages
– Not being able to save your home page in your browser
– Constant pop-ups telling you to install some tools to enhance your PC.
– Random Error Messages
Most often the spyware come bundled with free software’s or get installed by clicking on links in the pop-up advertisements. The best way to avoid these is to always skim through the EULA of software before installing it, legally the software is supposed to inform you if they are going to install any spyware on your PC. Secondly never click on pop-up advertisements claiming to increase your computers performance or claiming that you need to install a anti-spyware software. Also have an up to date browser helps in avoiding a lot of possible spyware applications getting installed on your system.
What to do if you have a spyware?
One of the options is to use spyware detection and removal software. There are a few good anti spyware available like Ad-Aware SE, Spybot S&D (Spybot – Search & Destroy), Windows defender and few more. My favorite is Spybot S&D and I will give you a brief walk through on using it.
Firstly if you know that there is a spyware on your computer always verify your download file after downloading. The installation of the software is straight forward and after installation it starts with a small wizard when you run the software for the first time. The wizard asks about the program shortcuts and internet settings for updates.
After the installation and wizard is finished now is the time to scan your computer for infections. The left side of the program has a navigation bar that can lead you to all functions of the program. The first section there (the top-most button) is labelled Spybot-S&D and leads you to the main page. Right now, you will see only an empty list and a toolbar at the bottom. The first button in this toolbar is named Check for problems – that is the button you’ve got to press to start the scanning. Normally the scanning takes some time so you can take your time and relax while it scans.
After the scan is finished you get the page where it shows you the detected spyware in your PC. There are two types of threats the one coloured as red and the other ones as green. The red threats are the possible spyware while the green ones are the usage tracks.
Before removing any entries I would recommend to read the description a bit to see if you really want to remove that entry or if you want to keep it. Some of the free software available which comes with a spyware might not work if you remove the spyware that came with it. After you have made the selection you can click on the Fix selected problems button. Sometimes it is not possible to fix the issues while some of the files that need fixing might be in use currently; in this scenario the Spybot will give you an option to reboot and run Spybot to scan and six those issues.
Also it is a good idea to use the Immunize function in the Spybot S&D to prevent some common spyware in getting back in your system.
This should pretty much solve all your spyware problems. There is also the option to activate the resident SD Helper and the Resident teatimer but I would not recommend you to activate you unless you really feel more secure that way.