Spyware & Adware

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Spyware & Adware

What is it? How did I get it? How do I get rid of it?

Spyware. Adware. Viruses. Worms. It seems like every time you turn on your computer, there is some new unwanted program trying to get your personal information, take control of your computer or sell you something that you don't want. What's a person to do? Well, read on. We'll fill you in on what they are, how they got there, how you can get rid of them and how you can stop them from coming back.

Spyware is the name given to various programs that get installed on your computer and sit there performing a function like serving up advertisements to you or capturing personal information about you and transmitting it back to a home base. Spyware finds it's way onto unprotected computers in a number of ways, including being downloaded as part of a bundle when you install other software, automatically downloading via a script when you visit certain websites or when you click a link on a webpage or in an email message. There are other ways, but these are the most common.

Adware is a particular type of spyware that presents you with unwanted and annoying advertisements in a variety of ways, some of which are listed below. Spyware. How do I know I've got it? You won't always know, because there are some types of spyware that just work in the background collecting information. But most spyware does show itself through a variety of symptoms.

  • Popup advertisements are appearing whether you are surfing or not.
  • A new toolbar has appeared on your web browser and you don't know where it came from.
  • Hotlinks are added to certain words and phrases on websites, even though the links aren't part of the original website.
  • It seems like your computer is performing slower and slower, even though you aren't doing anything different.
  • Your home page has been changed and you didn't do it. And you can't seem to change it back.
Read on to find out how to remove spyware.

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