Spyware Symptoms And Prevention Tips
A study has revealed that 80 percent of computer users in the U.S. suffer from spyware or other malicious software infection. This study indicates that the epidemic of spyware and adware infections is rampant and spreading fast. This article will help you understand the spyware problem, will equip you with warning signs that may indicate the presence of spyware on your PC and finally how to prevent assaults from spyware and other such software.
What is Spyware?
Spyware or Spy software is a software program that stealthily enters your computer and installs itself with the intent of intercepting or controlling a user’s interaction with their PC without consent. Spyware programs are different from computer viruses as they are not known to replicate like viruses. Additionally, these programs are not contagious and they do not move from PC to PC.
What do Spyware do?
Spyware are known to perform many illegal and unethical activities like:
- Monitor your computer behavior.
- Collect important and secret information from your PC.
- Tamper with your email software and send emails.
- Install software they want to promote, without your permission.
- Redirect your web browser to websites they want you to visit.
- Visit websites that are harmful in nature.
- Change the settings of your computer.
- Install a new toolbar in Internet explorer or other browsers.
- Cause registry errors while you are working on your PC.
- Copy processes, such as iexplore.exe, which are similar to legitimate processes running on a Windows system.
What are the Symptoms of Spyware Infection?
While some of the most sophisticated and dangerous spyware infections may not be easy to detect, most other spyware will give you one or more warning signs. These symptoms include:
- Slow computer: Sudden slowdown of your PC is the most common symptom that should warn you of a spyware attack. This happens because this malicious software tends to use up a lot of resources on your PC.
- Email Signs: If you find that a lot of emails that you are sending are bouncing back, or your PC is sending emails to others without your knowledge, it may be an indication of an attack by spam spyware software.
- Pop-up Ads: This symptom is common in the case of adware and you will experience a lot of pop-ups while you are browsing.
- Unwanted Homepages and Shortcuts: Many spyware have a tendency to add new home pages on your browser and shortcuts on your desktop screen. Some of these infections are so vicious that they do not allow you to revert to your original homepage.
- Unwanted Toolbars: Hijackers of web browsers may add new and unsolicited toolbars. Again, some of the dangerous ones are nearly impossible to remove.
- Manipulated search results: These spyware manufacturers have the capacity of changing the results of your web search. This should make you sit up and take notice.
Preventing Spyware Infections:
In order to prevent infections from spyware, you should follow the easy steps given below:
- Disconnect from the Internet as soon as you suspect a malware infection to stop any further damage to your PC.
- Install a reliable Anti-spyware program which will remove existing infections and prevent any new spyware from entering the system.
- Clean your registry to ensure that spyware are completely removed from your system. This is important as some spyware may escape the anti-spyware software.
- Keep your operating system updated so that any loopholes in the OS are plugged immediately. This will reduce the chances of an infection.
- Be very careful while using the Internet and installing programs. Stay away from potentially harmful websites and email attachments. Be careful while installing freeware.
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