Known as Spyware, Adware or Malware there is a plethora of self-installing software out there
Spyware or Adware is software that covertly gathers information via your Internet connection without your knowledge, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Once installed, the spyware monitors user activity on the Internet, and transmits that information in the background to someone else. It can attempt to force pop-up advertising when you are looking at websites and seriously slow down the operating speed of your computer.
What is Malware?
Malware is more malicious (hence the name). It can introduce harmful worms, trojans and viruses.
How do I get it?
The two main ways to get a Malware infection is via Websites or Email attachments.
What is Scareware?
Scareware describes one of the methods that Malware is introduced. It commonly works via an infected website by suddenly worrying or scaring you with an official looking alert telling you that your computer is infected with a number of viruses and inviting you to click here to remove them from your computer. You should never click on anything in such a pop up (even a 'no thanks' button). Just click the cross top right (and if there isn't one use Ctrl + F4 to close the window)
How do I know if I have got Spyware or Malware on my computer?
At first it may not be obvious (as Trojans are designed to 'hide' and lay dormant for while.) However eventually you may experience one of more of the following symptoms:
- You can't go to some websites - it takes you to a search page that is not Google
- You are suddenly getting hundreds of emails
- When you try to go to a website you are constantly interrupted with a pop-up warning that you have been infected with a virus - With a click here to REMOVE
How do I get rid of Spyware?
This can be very tricky - If you wanted to have a go yourself you could download, install and run MalwareBytes
However, we would recommend you ask a professional to sort it. If you are not confident we can do this for you - click the BigRedHelp button on the right to access our instant online help.