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Protect Yourself Against Spyware and Adware

Adware and spyware cause computer performance problems, annoyance and put people's personal information at risk. The catching of unwanted software is determined by surfing on malicious websites, by downloading programs from the Internet, and by opening email attachments from unknown sources. Freely downloading "freeware" and "shareware" is the leading source for spyware/adware infections.
One step in preventing them from installing on your PC is to make a detailed selection of the software you choose to download and to get acquainted with the license agreement and the terms of use of the software before installing it. Of course, the best defense ever, is to avoid downloading at all.

If you are still decided to do download software from the Internet, consider the following:

  • Download programs from sites you know and trust.
  • Read and understand the security, license and privacy statements of the software you download. You may also search the name of the program and the keywords "adware" and "software" using Google Groups. If you consider that reading the terms of use is time consuming, than just skim the text for words like: spyware, adware, third party, cookies. Some of the programs may specify somewhere that "When you agree to these terms you agree to allow third party software to be installed into your computer."
  • In case you click unwittingly on a link and you are shown a dialog box asking if you want to install a program, always say "no". You should only install programs from the Internet that you chose to install. Don't click the "yes" button to install the software you didn't ask for. Never click "Ok" when you want to close a window.
  • In case you are not sure whether an application is secure or not, and you have already read the license agreement and terms of use, you'd better ask someone who knows or check with other websites which offer a database with the applications containing spyware.
  • Avoid freely downloading of "freeware" and "shareware" - the leading sources for spyware infections.
  • Use detection programs to see if spyware is running on your computer. These programs compare a list of known spyware with files from your computer and remove everything it detects
  • Keep anti-spyware and adware software updated. Make sure you have downloaded the latest security updates.
  • Delete spam from your email. Spyware is spread through email just like other viruses.
  • Install a pop-up blocker to prevent adware and spyware pop-up windows.
  • Use a firewall. Although the firewall doesn't protect you from Spyware, it defends you against hackers who are up to your personal information. In other words, it prevents your sensitive information from being sent to a third party.

Solutions to Remove Spyware

Some Internet Service Providers recommend and provide anti-spyware software in their service packages. In case they don't, ask people you trust to suggest an anti-spyware software.
Removing spyware means that you will no longer be able to use the free program that comes with the unwanted software.

  • Download and install a free removal tool. (Lavasoft Ad Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy (S&D) ).
  • Run the tool to scan your computer for spyware and other unwanted software.
  • Review the files discovered by the tool for spyware and other unwanted software.
  • Select suspicious files for removal by following the instructions the software provides.

Spyware is already installed onto your PC. How can you stop it from showing up on your computer screen?

  1. Use a manual removal method. Determine the type of spyware you are dealing with. Each sort of spyware requires different removal techniques.
  2. Use a commercial product to protect you.

Be cautious when you download programs from the Internet! Make sure they do not contain unwanted software!


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