It's been estimated that over 60% of all computers have some kind of spyware installed and most of their owners are unaware! If you are tired of your PC running slow and filling your screen with those nasty pop-up then you will want to read the 10 warning signs listed below.
Afterwards check out my "action plan" and what you can do to rid yourself of your spyware infestation.
1. Browser Hijacks – When I used to get a call from a customer saying that their homepage had suddenly changed, without them doing anything, I knew to bring my anti-spyware fighting software. Malicious programmers love to change your browser settings to transfer your homepage to their "client's" websites.
2. PC is Crashing – Without warning, your PC starts crashing, freezing or locking up, but you haven't added any new software or updated anything recently.
3. Pop-Ups – You open your browser to visit your favorite blog site then "WHAM!" You are suddenly drowning in pop-ups! Your screen is full of brightly colored lures to porn, gambling or gaming websites. You click on the "Close" or the "X" to shut it down…uh, oh something is downloading to your machine!
4. Strange Favorites – You notice that there is a strange looking icon in your favorites. You click on it out of curiosity. You are caught in a webring of girly webpages…drat it, you're at work!
5. Strange Icon on Desktop or in Systray – You know notice a "winking" red light on the bottom-right in your Systray display. It says you have been infected. You hurriedly click on it to see what is wrong. Then a pop-up appears that says it is downloading an "anti-virus killer"…uh, oh.
6. Strange New Files Appear – You are poking about in your files and you notice that some odd, spyware-killer software has a folder on your hard drive. Where did that one come from?
7. Strange Emails – While searching for a note you dropped to the boss, you notice that you have lots of strange emails in your "Send" folder. You didn't send them, especially the ones in a foreign language.
8. Strange Toolbars – You open up your browser and now you have 3 toolbars instead of just one. What gives? When you try to remove, or change the settings, they keep coming back no matter what you do.
9. PC runs sluggish or slow – Granted your computer may not be the newest kid on the block but lately it has been moving slower than the Street Dept fixing a pothole. It takes several minutes for it logon and go out on the web. And it takes forever for you do to the simplest things anymore.
10. Hard Drive is running all the time – You have noticed that your hard drive is running all the time now. Even when nobody is on the machine! You can see the activity light blinking away and you can also hear the drive being accessed. Huh?
Action Plan – What to do next…
- Download from the Net or buy a good anti-spyware software package. For free try Ad-Aware or SpyBot's S&D. Or use SpySweeper if you need an industrial strength cleaner.
- Scan your hard drive and follow any instructions on removing items.
- Install a good personal firewall program to slow down pop-ups and other nastiness.
Author – From Chancer Reese, your Small Office Tech Diva. For more free tips see http://www.fixcomputerproblemsguide.com Hard Drive Crashed? Repair or Rescue Any Hard Drive… visit http://www.fixcomputerproblemsguide.com/Hard-Drive-Crashed.html