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Is your computer acting odd or running slower than it once did? Chances are, your system is plagued with spyware
What is Spyware?
Spyware is usually advertising and some other types of software that gets installed on your computer without your knowledge. Companies use it to pop up ads on your computer, track your internet usage, and gather other personal information about you. These programs are typically not written very well (which is among the reasons they cause a lot of problems). Spyware is also not typically a computer virus, so some anti-virus programs do not see or remove many types of spyware.
Spyware can find its way onto your computer by many ways, but usually it is the result of just using the Internet and visiting websites.
Besides invading your privacy, spyware programs often cause problems with Internet Explorer and other browsers and if you have a lot of spyware on your computer, there is a very good chance that one or more of these programs has already crippled your Internet Explorer browser.
Common Symptoms of Spyware
If you think your computer might have spyware, look for the following:
Major Sources of Spyware
The following programs are either spyware themselves, or spyware is installed along with the program (note: This is not a comprehensive list).
There are many other sources of spyware, we recommend only installing programs from reputable companies and only if the software is necessary. If a website asks to install software on your computer, always click "no" unless you know specifically what it does.
There are two programs generally recommended by experts to remove spyware AVG and Spybot Search and Destroy. Both of these programs are free for use for most users.
AVG - Free Edition
Spybot Search and Destroy 1.6.2
Once you have installed AVG or Spybot Search and Destroy (or both), run them frequently to keep your computer free of spyware and running smoothly.