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9 Warning Signs You Might Be Infected With Spyware And/Or Adware

Aug 17, 2007
FACT: Chances are your machine is hosting spyware. There are currently over 78,000 Spyware and Adware programs on the Internet that can affect your PC.

Here are 9 warning signs you should be aware of, if any of them pertain to you then your PC is most likely infected:

If you start you Internet browser and the homepage that pops up is not the one that has been set by you. You then change it back to what you want and then it goes back to something you didn't set again. This is one of the more common features and ways to tell that you have been taken over by some sort of spyware and that you should rid your system of it immediately.

If you get pop-ups that have been personalized with your name on them or you begin to receive pop up ads while you are not even connected to the Internet or don't have a browser open. This is one of the more annoying ways that your system will let you know that you have something other than normal operating in your system.

You start receiving very expensive phone bills that have you placing many calls to 900 numbers that you never heard and ones that have hefty per-minute rates. Spyware takes over your phone line due to the connection that you have in conjunction with that phone service, whether dial-up or broadband.

You enter a searchable item into your required Internet toolbar or address bar and then all of sudden an unapproved searching system handles your search. More infamous items are infected with stuff such as Mysearch Bar and other spyware type search engines that only take you to their approved sites.

Another sure fire way to know that you have spyware operating on your system is that you have view your favorites list and you have favorite sites in their that you did not put in yourself and have found that other sites you put there are no longer found. You delete these items but they always show up again in your favorites.

Your system begins to run slower than normal. If you are a updated Windows OS user you pull up your task manager system information screen and see that your system is running at 100%, then you are infected with spyware because your system always needs a little free space in order to process information, which is why your system slows down when you have spyware on it.

At a time when you are not doing anything online, the send or receive lights on your dial-up or broadband modem blink just as wildly and lively as when you are online downloading a file or surfing the Internet. Also, your network icon on your screen will be flashing rapidly showing you that you are working on receiving and sending information from your system at a very rapid rate. This is the job of spyware here to send and receive information to your system without telling you.

A search toolbar or other browser toolbar appears even though you didn't request it or install it. Your attempts to remove it fail, or it comes back after removal. Parts of spyware registry files hide themselves in your system under aliases and unless you find all of them and remove them, then they will never leave your system, causing them to show up over and over again.

And the final sign is: Everything appears to be running normal but the most deceptive and devious spyware leaves no tracking information for you to find it anyway. This is the sure way to get you to check your system on a routine and regular basis so that you are sure you have no signs of an infection.
About the Author
When not on his soapbox, Andrew Wroblewski is doing battle with the thousands of spyware programs that can affect you via his anti-spyware and spyware removalwebsite: http://spyware.pcwash.com where you can get a FREE spyware scan of your computer system.
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