Spyware Removal - How to Remove Spyware

Steps to Take to Remove Spyware

A spyware infestation on your PC is not only annoying; it can also slow down the performance of your computer. Depending on how serious the infestation is, you may need to disconnect your computer from the Internet and download the needed spyware removal tools using a second clean computer in order to get rid of spyware. These utilities can then be run through a CD or USB drive. Before resorting to this, however, try to remove spyware by using the Add/Remove Programs feature in the Windows control panel; in Vista this feature is listed in the menu as Programs and Features. After uninstalling, always reboot the computer.

Once you've rebooted your computer, you can install anti spyware utilities. Also known as spyware blockers, these tools will not only remove current infections, but also prevent your computer from being infected again. When selecting the utility you will use, make sure it has a real-time monitoring feature which will warn you about security threats. When running a system scan, if possible run it while the system is in safe mode. Once a scan is run, if threats are detected, you will be presented with three options - clean, delete or quarantine. If cleaning the infected file is not possible, unless you are sure that the file can be safely deleted without damaging your system, pick the quarantine option. This will move the suspect file to a safe location where it cannot hurt the system but can still be recovered if needed. After youíve successfully addressed the infection, there are still some steps youíll have to take in order to prevent re-infection. First, go to the Properties menu of Internet Explorer and reset the web settings to ensure that you are not being redirected to unwanted websites; do this by clicking on the Reset Web Settings button in the Programs tab. You should also review your list of trusted sites to make sure that the spyware has not added unwanted sites; examine the sites on the Trusted Sites button in the security tab and remove suspect sites. Then, make sure that your HOSTS file has not been modified to redirect you to unwanted sites; the HOSTS file matches domain names and IP addresses. You can do this by using special software tools that will prevent changes to the HOSTS file and block unwanted modifications to the registry.

Finally, once the spyware removers have completed their work, practice preventive measures. Donít download any freeware, no matter how desirable, without thoroughly checking it out first and carefully reading any licensing agreements; in particular, avoid falling for fake scan alerts that try to scare you into visiting a particular website and downloading their software. Then, make sure that your web browser and e-mail cannot install or launch programs automatically; one way of doing this is by disabling java script to make your web surfing safer. And, disable Windows Messenger since it makes your system vulnerable not just to undesirable advertising but also an exploit that allows attackers to run code on susceptible systems; doing so will block pop-up windows and the exploit.

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