Spyware Problems: Find and Remove the Infection
A few years ago, virtually no one had even heard of a spyware infection and it definitely was not the buzz phrase that it is. However, with growing computer use and popularity there has also been a steady and gradual increase in the number of problems and privacy issues that plague computer systems and their users. Computer and computer software companies continually aim to improve their products to provide better, more secure service to their customers, but it is hard to stay ahead of those who seek to gain information to others' private information or needlessly wreak havoc on the unknowing computer or computer user. There are now many problems associated with a spyware infection but the situation is not hopeless. There are many things that you can do to protect yourself and even recover from spyware and its effects.
Spyware Infection: The Facts
Before you begin thinking about a spyware infection, you need to understand what spyware actually is. Spyware is a broad term describing any number of software programs that make a home on your computer and operate secretly to collect personal information through your Internet connection. The information collected is mainly used for advertising purposes and product or service improvement, but this does not make it any less of a privacy invasion, especially because the majority of computer users have no idea that they have spyware on their computers or that their personal information is being collected, analyzed, and even distributed to other parties.
Because spyware is intended to be hidden, it can be difficult to know if you actually have a spyware infection or not. However, there are some tell-tell signs that can clue you in. Because spyware is related to advertising, the presence of many pop-up ads on your computer is a first clue. Oftentimes these ads that pop up on your screen are related in some way to something that you previously searched for, but this is not always the case. Another signal of a spyware infection is a change in your settings or browser that you did not make. Sometimes this refers to new websites being added to your favorites list or the redirecting of your browser to a different home page. A third clue for spyware infection is when your computer starts running, booting, or operating slower than normal. Because spyware are software programs, they occupy resources on your computer. Sometimes there can be so many different types of spyware of your computer that a great deal of your computer's resources can be consumed by their activities.
If you think that you may have a spyware infection, it is a good idea to begin removing these programs as soon as possible. There are many anti-spyware programs available for free on the Internet that can help you identify spyware and remove it, even if you have virtually no knowledge or experience dealing with such things. AdAware and SpyBot are both good choices that are easy to use and legitimately helpful.
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