You are trying to work on your computer and you notice its just not acting properly. Maybe its lagging, slow or your searches are constantly being redirected to places you don't want to go. You may have been infected with a malware known as spyware.
Spyware is hard to detect and even harder to remove. It is a form of software that gets information from another computer by transmitting data covertly from the hard drive. It makes your computer work slower, you get more popups and advertising, and will work to collect your personal information like banking and credit card information, passwords and other login information.
Some of the ways spyware messes with the workings of your computer are it can disrupt the network connections, reduce your normal speeds, changes the settings that you put on the computer and redirects the browser searches. In addition, spyware can make it difficult to reset the computer and get your settings back to how they were before you were infected.
There are four major types of spyware that can get into your computer. They are system monitors, Trojans, adware and tracking cookies. Each of these can infiltrate the computer by piggybacking onto wanted downloads or programs from the internet. While the main download or program itself may be great, it's what comes with it that causes the problem. With some they all come in a complete package, there is no way of knowing or detecting spyware is included until it's already in the computer and wreaking havoc.
So how do you protect yourself and more importantly your computer from spyware? Invest in a good internet security program and/or a program that you can use to detect viruses and spyware and then quarantine them and get them out of your system. It is also a good idea to read through the user agreement before downloading anything onto your computer. A quick check online will allow you to see how 'clean' downloads are before you press that button and online forums are always buzzing about which downloads to avoid.
If your computer crashes because of spyware there is always help available at your local computer repair shop. Taking it to the experts can help you get back up and running in no time as they are experts in getting the bad out (spyware, malware, viruses) while trying to preserve the good (files, programs, data, etc.).