Dealing with Windows Spyware, Hijacking, Trojans and Security

Windows Spyware Tips

Dealing with Windows Spyware, Hijacking, Trojans and Security

What is Spyware?

Spyware - Malware!

Spyware is an invasive software technology that assists in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. With the Internet, "spyware is Trojan software placed on a computer to covertly gather information about the user and send it to marketing groups or other interested parties." and Malware is a cause for public concern about privacy and safety on the Internet. These types of applications are malicious and often cause your computer to slow down, have instability and act in strange ways.


How did this Spyware happen?

When your Internet Security is compromised, there are Internet sites that may take advantage of this and install 'hidden' software on your system - without your knowledge. In other cases downloaded software comes bundled with other "free programs" (as spyware and adware). Usually you don't realize this until you start having strange problems or discover your browser has been hijacked.

Be Alert:Some programs you can downloaded off the Internet are free downloads, as they offset the cost giving it away free from the revenue of some information gathering. It is wise to read the privacy policy of a piece of software before you download it. Sometimes there will be notes that some optional (additional) software will be installed on your computer. This optional software may gather information about your activities and send it back to them. Spyware can (easily) appear as a popup from a web site asking if you would like to install their "greatest and latest piece of some type of software". Practice extreme caution when accepting these types of offers!

How To: Prevent this spyware attack from happening again?

The first thing you must remember is that most adware and spyware tools are basically for removal after a malicious Spyware attack. The best answer is; use "Multiple Layered Protection" - Firewalls!

  1. Make use of the Internet Explorer "Restricted Zone" or set "default' security
  2. Install a firewall (see -  Security Issues (outside this site))
  3. Install an Antivirus program (see -  Security Issues (outside this site))
  4. Add SpywareBlaster (outside this site) to your "Layered Protection"

What are some symptoms of having Spyware or a Hijacker on my Computer?

Some common signs of having Spyware or Hijacking are:

  • Your web browser home page changes
  • Strange results occur from web searches
  • New toolbars appear on your web browser that you did not install
  • An increase in the number of popups occurs
  • Your web browser is slower to load and perhaps crashes

Removing spyware from your computer:

Beware of Imposter's - before you use, install or purchase a free "Anti-Spyware"!
Read this report: Trojan / Rogue security software Anti-Spyware Products & Web Sites

Spybot SpyBot 2.6 [safe freeware] download

If you are using Windows XP or Windows Vista, Spybot 2.6 is not compatible with your operating system. Please download Spybot 2.4 from here.

Once you have Spybot installed (read this help guide), be sure to use the update option in Spybot before scanning!
Fix the items labeled in red; items labeled in blue-green are optional.
Spybot S&D Support Forum:  How to Install and Use Spybot

Ad-AwareAd-Aware SE Personal [safe freeware] http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
Once installed make sure to update via internet before scanning!

Other recommended Anti-Spyware Programs

Note: there are many specialized tools, "fixes", etc. that are created for specific type infections. These are not listed here; such cases need to be handled by knowledgeable technicians. Attempting to isolate these by you may do more harm!

Check your system with HijackThis!

(After using one of the above spyware cleaner tools)
Download: HijackThis [freeware] from: [author] [site1] [site2]
Unzip, double-click "HijackThis.exe" and Press "Scan".

HijackThis Tutorial (a good introduction)

The spyware and hijack removal specialists! No single "Anti-Spyware" scanner can completely remove all Spyware. This is mainly due to new daily more complex threats!

Dealing with Coolwebsearch hijacks:

There are many Coolwebsearch affiliates offering "Pay-per-Click" schemes; basically getting a few cents for each user that gets hijacked to Coolwebsearch or one of it's linked affiliates. Most of these affiliates are Adult based material, so be careful on what sites you visit.

Removing Unwanted Internet Explorer Menu Items:

  • Scan your system with Ad-Aware or SpyBot (see above)
  • Run HijackThis! and select the items you want removed. [more info]

Repairing your Windows Winsock Internet Connection:

There are problems where malicious software, including malware and spyware, is sometimes quietly installed by unrelated products such as file-sharing programs, quietly hiding on the system. The user does not know of their existence until something goes wrong, and you can no longer access Web sites.

If you have suddenly lost your Internet connection after removing spyware the following tools can help restore your default Windows Internet connection.

Conclusion!

Spyware and Browser Hijackers have becoming a serious threat for all Windows based computer users. With proper use of the above tools, you can [usually] safely remove most of these 'threat' programs from your computer. If you still think there are remaining issues, then please book a workshop service time with me.

If you would like to read further of a in-depth tutorial on how to remove Spyware and Browser Hijackers, then please click on the link below.

Information