Spyware programs usually come packaged with other software programs—generally freeware and shareware programs that are downloaded from the internet—and are installed stealthily on your computer.
Why You Need To Avoid Spyware
These programs run in the background and secretly track your Web browsing and computer activity.
The information collected by these malicious programs is usually traded with affiliate Web sites that, in turn, send content-specific ads or adware to your system.
These ads are usually displayed as pop-ups on your desktop without your consent.
Note: Not all adware is malicious. There are many legitimate programs that come with freeware programs and are displayed only until the program is running. Adware are categorized as malicious only when they display ads on your desktop without your approval.
Many spyware programs are more dangerous in nature. These programs are actually Keyloggers that record all your key presses and even take screenshots of your computer activity.
By doing this, they gather confidential information such as your usernames and passwords, credit card numbers and bank account details. This information can be used by hackers for malicious purposes.
How To Avoid and Remove Spyware And Adware Infections
One of the most troublesome factors about spyware and adware programs is that they add too many files, processes, registry entries—even embedded entries—that make them practically non-removable from the system. Discussed here are a few important steps that you can follow to completely remove and prevent spyware and adware infections.
- Install an antispyware program: Manual removal of spyware programs is almost impossible. This is the reason why it is recommended that you download a good anti-spyware tool and install it on your computer. When doing so, ensure that you download the tool from an authorized source because if you are careless, you may end up downloading a spyware disguised as an antispyware program.
- Close all programs running on the computer: To ensure that your anti-spyware scan is effective, close all programs currently running on the computer. It is recommended that you turn on the computer in Safe Mode. To do this, restart your system, press F8, and then select the Safe Mode option. This helps because when you run the computer in Safe mode, only essential services are loaded on the system. This is the reason why when you scan the system in Safe mode, the spyware removal process is more effective.
- Perform a full system scan: Run a full-system scan and then repair the system if any results are displayed.
- Scan again: After scanning, restart your computer and then run the system again. This helps you ensure that no spyware residue is left behind on your system after the first scan. You must run the scan even if no results are displayed during the first scan.
- Clean the registry: Spyware programs add several entries in the registry. Many of these entries are added deep within the registry as embedded keys, which are practically non-removable. And, it is these entries that make the spyware programs practically non-removable. This is the reason why it is recommended that you perform a deep registry scan using an advanced registry cleaner tool to weed out all malicious information from it.
Make sure you are protected from this online threat…