How to Rid your System of Spyware and Adware
The evolution of malware (a generic term for both spyware and adware) and IT systems is happening side by side and the nature of ‘always on’ broadband increases the vulnerability of systems. With the increasingly tenacious breed of malware making its rounds in the virtual community nowadays; you need to know how to protect and rid your system/s from being attacked by malware that installs itself on your computer without your knowledge and it can:
- display a constant barrage of pop-up ads
- alter system files and browser settings
- re-direct you to unwanted sites
- steal your personal information regarding web activities and transfer it to advertising and data-search companies and save the keystrokes you type to enter your bank account, credit card numbers and passwords, also known as keylogging.
- slow down your internet connection speed
- hinder your system’s processing performance, making it hang or even crash
Secure Your System
Unlike regular programs, malware programs do not show up in the Control Panel section from where they can be removed easily. Traditional antivirus software makers have now expanded into providing specialized programs for dealing with malware. You should check your current software for any built-in features for detecting and removing spyware and adware. If you do not have any antivirus software then getting that installed should be your top priority.
If ever you find your system under attack, never install anything from an unfamiliar source. This will only exacerbate the problem. Always run programs from a trusted source e.g. Freebyte, Computer Geeks.
You can download and install different anti-spyware and anti-adware software and running them together won’t cause any conflicts on your system, unlike multiple antivirus softwares functioning simultaneously. Instead, they will provide you with specialized protection cover from the various types of malware that has leached onto your system. Some of the best free solutions are:
- Ad-Aware SE Personal: Runs comprehension checks for malware components and successfully eliminates them. Offers different configuration options for optimal security settings.
- Spybot-S&D: Runs thorough search and destroy scans; very user friendly; immunizes areas of the hard drive vulnerable to malware infections and it also offers configuration options for personalization settings to remain intact.
- Spy Sweeper: Awarded 4 stars by PC magazine, it is a quality solution for virtual threats and counteracting malware actions.
- Pop Up Washer: Allows you to view the sites of your choice without intrusive ads and it has safety features that block and avoid the action of the malware.
- Malware Bytes: Removes scareware, rogue software that hijacks your computer and tries to scare you into purchasing “protection”.
Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or an Internet Web Portal like msn.com can be an excellent detection tool and antidote for malware. They offer toolbars with built-in web-based detection and removal programs and depending on which browser you choose, a link to McAfee or Norton will be provided to run a computer scan and eliminate threats. You should also select a professional web hosting where your website is scanned regularly.
To avoid further attacks, ensure your system and security software is always updated. Be very particular about what gets installed on your system and run a search for any new program that strikes your interest.