Over time, most people find their computer gets slower and slower as junk builds up on it. One way to improve this is to remove spyware from your system. Spyware is a major cause of problems that seem to appear all of a sudden.
If your computer has been running slower than it used to, or you're having strange problems that were never happening before, it can often get things running properly again when you remove spyware.What is Spyware, Anyway?
Spyware - and related programs called adware or malware - is software that can do various nasty things after being installed on your computer. Some of these include:
- Constant pop-ups
- Tracking the websites you visit
- Sending your private information to someplace
- Causing your computer to run slowly or crash due to low resources
There are a number of different ways that spyware can be installed. The most common include the following:
- "Piggybacking" on another program you install
- Downloading automatically from a website you visit
- Tricking you into installing it
A big cause of spyware installation are programs like Kazaa and Morpheus, the file sharing software that so many people use to download music, movies and other things. Most of these programs are free to use, but the hidden cost is that they install spyware and adware along with their own software. Completely aside from the legal issues with these sharing programs, I wouldn't recommend them just because of all the computer problems they will cause.
.How Can You Remove Spyware?
There are a number of programs that will remove spyware from your computer. Some are free, other cost money. Sometimes they are included in internet security or antivirus programs. My recommendation is to run a couple of different ones to be sure they aren't missing anything. That way, if one program misses the latest infection, it's quite likely the other one will catch it, and vice versa.
If you're looking for a free program to remove spyware, the one I recommend is from Microsoft. Anti-Spyware
While the Microsoft Anti-Spyware is a good program, it doesn't give you any kind of customer service or support. When you buy a commercial program, you get these extras that can be really helpful if you have any problems with the software.
One of the best paid anti-spyware programs I've found is MalwareBytes AntiMalware. It is extremely thorough and will also find other errors in your computer beyond just spyware. Plus, you can download their software for free to do a scan of your computer and see if you have been infected.
You will have to buy the software to get rid of any problems the free download finds, but if you're having problems and want to see if it could be due to spyware, this is an easy way to check. I'm very careful not to allow spyware infections