How can I remove and prevent spyware?

Spyware and other forms of malware are only becoming more common. Spyware is spyware that steals user information, tracks and records what you do. Let’s review the steps you need to take to prevent this type of malicious software from being installed on a user’s computer. In general, there are three important steps to avoid spyware:

1. Install and Run an Anti-Spyware Program There are many out there, but the popular recommendations, all free, usually boil down to:

• Windows Defender. It comes pre-installed on most recent versions of Windows, and is a free download if it isn’t pre-installed.

• Spybot Search and Destroy. Spybot is free and does a great job of removing spyware. Spybot is one of the most commonly recommended tools when people are dealing with spyware issues. It also includes options that will help you “immunize” or prevent certain types of spyware problems from occurring in the first place.

• Lavasoft Adaware – Adaware is the other most commonly recommended anti-spyware tool. Free Adaware is available for your personal or home use.

2. Update the spyware database. Once an anti-spyware is installed, it must be kept up to date by updating the spyware definition database that comes with the installation. New spyware is created every day, which requires you to keep the databases used by anti-spyware up to date. Most update programs find, download, and install the latest databases automatically. You must make sure that this function is activated.

3. Run regular scans, some anti-spyware programs by default scan the computer automatically. By this I mean that once Windows Defender is installed, it protects the computer immediately and by default performs a full scan every day. Other anti-pyware don’t.

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