Before you can think about getting rid of spyware, you need to know wheter you have "Spyware" on your system.
Flickering screen: If your computer screen flickers without reason, spyware could be the cause. Many spyware programs - especially those used in office environments - periodically take "screenshots" and store them. While the screenshot is being made and stored, the screen can flicker.
Just in case you do not know, a "screenshot" is a picture of the monitor and everything that is on it like the programs etc. that you are running.
New browser toolbars: Some spyware installs it's own toolbars in your browser. If you don’t know where the toolbar came from, chances are good that it came from spyware.
Sluggish system: If
your system starts responding slower than you remember, spyware could
be the cause. Running spyware (it is, after all, a program) takes time
normally spent running your other programs.
Low system resources: Windows lets you know when it detects that your system resources are getting low. If you start seeing warnings about your system resources, it could be due to poorly written spyware consuming the resources normally allocated to other programs.
Inability to change home page: If your browser’s home page suddenly changes to a page different from what you chose, you could have a browser hijacker spyware on your system. If you cannot change the home page to one you want, you’re surely infected.
Unwanted advertisements: If you see pop-up or banner ads appear onscreen, you may have spyware installed.
If you really want to understand how spyware works and all the damage it can do, you could check out these links: www.spywareguide.com & www.spywareinfo.com
Spyware is hard to remove. Spyware programs often install themselves
in several places on your system and include methods for
“healing” themselves. This means that, if you don’t
get rid of all the spyware, it reinstalls itself from the pieces and
parts that are left on the system. Spyware often hooks itself deeply
into your operating system. Deleting the wrong files could make the
Please Note: You could seriously cripple your system if you start deleting files left and right. So don’t do that either.
If you suspect undetected spyware on your system, a number of detection utilities are available. The best free program we recommend is "Spybot Search & Destroy". You can get it by downloading it from www.download.com or www.safer-networking.org
There is one last step to "Monthly cleaning" that must be done to make your system run fast and it is covered in the next section...
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