Spyware are programs created to maliciously infect a users system and can do a large variety of tasks, from copying the user’s keystrokes, stealing passwords, or generate and display ads. Removing spyware is a delicate process that is typically best done in different stages. Listed below is a task list and best practices to do when removing spyware.
1. The first thing to do after identifying a spyware infection is to disconnect from the internet and removing any connections to any networks or routers. This is because spyware can spread through many different communication paths and has the potential to affect other systems. After the system is no longer connected to any other machines it is ok to start the process of removing the spyware.
2. Now that the system is no longer connected to the internet the best thing to do to start removing the spyware is to try to identify the file or folder that is housing the spyware. Although the spyware may be visible there is a possibility that even after removing the folder and .exe file there may be remnants left of the spyware which could continue to infect the system, and even spread to other systems.
3. If the system is continuing to display symptoms of a spyware infection the next step is to load an anti-spyware program onto the system. These programs are created to search for, and remove, malicious programs. As this system should not be connected to the internet the safest way get the program onto the system is to get an anti-spyware program on a cd and load the program off of the media, as connecting to the internet should still not be done if the symptoms of infection remain.
4. Once the program is loaded the final step to removing spyware can be taken. Run a full scan, sometimes called a deep scan by different programs, and let the scan run. These scans can run up several hours so patience is required to remove all the spyware on the system.
5. After the scan has been completed remove all spyware that has been identified and restart the machine. This system should no longer display any symptoms of a spyware infection and should be running much smoother than prior to removing the infection.
6. Although the infection may have fixed by removing the spyware there might be some registry keys that may have been left which are still reducing the system speed. At this time it is best to run a registry cleaner, or attempt to identify the malwares registry remnants, and start removing them right away.
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