If your computer has suddenly gotten a lot slower, you are seeing strange pop-up windows that are hard to get rid of, and your web browser is sending you to websites that you didn’t ask to be sent to, you may have a spyware infection on your system! Spyware is a term for malicious software that attempts to get information about you and your computer habits. This malware is usually installed without your permission or knowledge and is incredibly difficult to remove from your computer. Knowing how to deal with a spyware infection can save you a lot of stress and trouble.
Stay Away From Rash Decisions
If you suspect that your computer is infected with nasty software, don’t panic. You will be pressured by the malware itself to take certain actions, usually actions that will result in your private information being sent to thieves waiting to take advantage of you. Do not make any purchases until you know what the problem is. Every legitimate spyware removal tool will offer a free scan that will tell you what is infecting your computer, but be careful that you pick a company with a good reputation. Some spyware will claim to be spyware removal software in order to trick you into downloading and installing it. Check the credentials of the companies you do business with online.
Manual Cleaning: For Experts Only
Once you have determined what is infecting your system, you have a number of choices. The most difficult is to attempt to remove the malware yourself. In order to do so, you need to know how to edit your registry, stop processes, start your computer in Safe Mode, and find and delete files from your hard drive. If you don’t know how to do those steps off the top of your head, cleaning your system manually is not recommended.
Taking Your Computer to the Shop Takes Up Your Time
Another choice is to take your computer to a specialist shop and have them remove the infection. If you already know a good computer shop and feel you can trust them, this is not a bad choice of action. But it will mean that you won’t have access to your computer for a few days, and someone else will be able to rummage around in your private files.
Find and Run a Good Anti-Spyware Program
Perhaps the best choice is to run an anti-spyware program. There are a number of these programs around, and most of them offer a good quality service. Picking between them may seem tricky, but it all comes down to what you value most.
First off, look for a company that has a good reputation. You may even want to check with a consumer protection agency like the Better Business Bureau.
Second, look at what sort of guarantees they offer. Does the company stand behind their product? Will they offer help or updates if they miss malware on your machine? A good guarantee can mean the difference between a few hours of work to restore your system versus a few days.
Lastly, check out the free scan to see what the program found on your machine. Does it only list a bunch of tracking cookies, or did it spot malware on your computer that explains your problems? If you get a good spyware remover, you can be back up and running on a clean machine in just a couple of hours. Instead of worrying, find the program that works for you and stay protected.
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