Have you noticed new programs on your computer that you didn’t install or suspicious pop-ups or toolbars? Are you getting unusual error messages? Has your browser homepage or other settings changed by themselves? Is your computer running slow? If so, it may be infected with spyware.
Spyware is a very common problem we see as an NJ computer repair service. Spyware is usually fairly easy to remove, but it can be difficult to detect. Sometimes users have spyware on their computers for months or even years without knowing about it.
While it’s annoying if your computer is slowed down by spyware, this malicious software can cause much bigger problems for you or your business. Spyware can be used to steal your personal information, passwords, or credit card details, and can even be used for blackmail.
If you think you might have spyware on your computer, it’s important to act quickly. Give us a call at (908) 333-4893 or contact us online and we’ll get back to you right away to help clean your computer of spyware
Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) that is installed on your computer without your knowledge.
The purpose of spyware is to monitor your activities while you’re using your computer. Some of the things spyware can do include:
- Logging everything you type on your computer to steal usernames, passwords, credit card numbers and other information
- Stealing data you enter on websites
- Displaying pop-up ads or other messages
- Tracking your searches and the sites you visit online
- Changing your system or browser settings
- Downloading and installing more malware
- Enable another person to access your computer remotely
- Spyware can even access your camera to take photos and literally spy on you.
Obviously, anything that can be used to steal your personal data or monitor what you do online or on your computer is bad news. Malicious individuals may use spyware to steal your identity or make fraudulent charges on your credit cards.
Sometimes spyware is used for blackmail or extortion. In this situation, a hacker will use spyware to record information such as web searches, websites visited, emails or private messages sent and received, or images from a webcam. They’ll then threaten to release this information publicly unless the victim pays a sum of money.
Spyware is also bad for your computer as it uses system resources and can cause it to run very slowly or crash frequently.
Because spyware is so dangerous, it’s important to take steps to protect your computer and reduce the risk of being infected. You should also run regular virus and malware scans to detect any malicious software on your devices.
If your antivirus software detects malware, it’s important to remove it as soon as possible. Follow the instructions given by your anti-virus program, which will attempt to deactivate and block it.
Sometimes, antivirus software cannot remove malware. If this is the case, you can try installing a specialized spyware removal tool. But make sure you use reputable software with plenty of good reviews on independent review sites. Sometimes spyware itself will disguise itself as an antivirus or system cleaner tool.
Even if your antivirus software hasn’t detected anything, it’s a good idea to uninstall any new software or browser extensions that have appeared suddenly or that seem suspicious. You can also search for the name of the app to see if it’s known as spyware.
If you’re not able to remove spyware yourself, or you want complete peace of mind that your computer is clean, it’s best to seek professional help. If you’re in New Jersey and need help with spyware or virus removal, give the team at Dave’s Computers a call or click the “Request Support” button at the top of the page. Our spyware technical support team will tell you more about how we can help you.
There are some simple steps you can take to protect your computer and keep it safe from viruses, malware, and spyware:
- Install good antivirus and antimalware software and run regular scans.
- Keep your operating system, web browser, and other software up to date.
- Avoid downloading programs from websites you don’t know well. Only download software from trusted websites.
- Don’t open attachments in emails from people you don’t recognize (or if the content of the email seems suspicious – sometimes hackers hijack emails for this purpose.)
- Don’t click on links on websites or emails that seem suspicious.
- Use strong passwords, and use different passwords for each website.
It’s also essential to back up your computer regularly, so that if it is infected with malware you can restore your system and data.
If you need help with any of this, just contact us and we’ll be happy to help you out.
The team at Dave’s Computers has experience in removing all types of spyware from PCs, laptops, and Mac computers. If you need help with your computer at home or at work in our New Jersey service areas, just give us a call at (908) 333-4893.