thursday tech tip 3 – spyware removal
“Spyware” is the term for a wide variety of malicious programs that can get on your computer and compromise your security. For more details about what it is and what is does, check wikipedia.
The main point of this post is to provide you with a way to find and remove it from your computer. There are several programs available. Some can be purchased and others are free. I’ll fill you in on those programs in other posts, but for now, do yourself a favor and download Spybot, Search and Destroy.
Spybot is very simple to use. Once it’s downloaded and started for the first time, it will take you through a step by step setup process. It’ll probably take several minutes to do, but it is well worth it. Make sure you download all updates and do a thorough scan of your computer. Don’t forget to fix any problems it finds.
How often you use this program depends largely on how much you are online and how safe you are when you surf the web. I recommend running it about once a week. Even if you don’t find anything, it’s good to do just in case.
If you’ve never run a program to look for spyware, you may be surprised at all of the problems you find on your computer. I’ve seen Spybot find hundreds of infections and malicious programs on a single computer before. If this happens to you, Spybot will probably ask if you want to run the program at startup. The answer to this is yes. If you still can’t fix the issues, then you can try running it in Safe Mode. But that’s getting into a tip for another week.