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What Is Spyware?

Spyware is malicious software that collects information about a user and is installed on a computer without the user's informed consent. Not to be confused with a virus.
Remove Viruses and Spyware

There are many different types of spyware.
  • Adware - is a type of spyware that collects information about a user in order to display targeted advertisments to the user.
  • Browser Helper Objects (BHOs) - is a plug-in for Internet Explorer which helps developers customize and control the browser.
  • Browser HiJacker - is when a malicious application adjusts your browser settings without your concent. For example: your homepage has changed to a search page, dangerous sites have been mysteriously added to your Favorites, questionable websites are added to Internet Explorer's list of Trusted Sites etc...
  • Keyboard Logger - logs all the activity of your keyboard and reports this information back to a remote computer. This information can be used to steal passwords, bank information etc...
  • Phone Dialer - AKA - Modem HiJacker - this type of application changes the phone number dialed when using a dial-up Internet connection so charges are incurred on the users phone bill.
  • Remote Access Trojans (RATs) - malicious programs that run on a user's computer which permits an intruder remote access to that computer.
How do I know if my computer is infected? What are the signs of spyware?
  • slower than normal computer? - Is your computer having trouble performing routine tasks? Has there been a sudden increase in the amount of times your computer crashes? Does your computer not start at all?
  • homepage has changed by itself? - Has your homepage been hijacked? Does it open to a search page that you did not specify?
  • pop-ups driving you crazy? - Do they appear as soon as you turn on your computer? Are they for adult websites? Some spyware will bombard you with popups that aren't even related to the website you are visiting.
  • browser settings have changed and you can't change them back? - When you open up Internet Explorer does it open to a search page that you did not specify?
  • new browser toolbars installed - but not by you? - Is there a mysterious toolbar installed on your browser?
  • phone bill sky-rocketed - Do you see charges on your phone bill for adult websites or 1-900 numbers?
  • unexpected new or new icons in your system tray? - Are there applications running on your computer that you did not install?
*How can I remove spyware from my PC? How can I prevent spyware from getting on my PC?
quick links
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on this page

what is spyware?
types of spyware
    browser hijacker
    keyboard logger
    phone dialer
signs of spyware
remove spyware
prevent spyware

what's related?
how to remove spyware
antispyware software
2007 top 10 spyware threats
2006 top 10 spyware threats
what is a virus?
what is phishing?
what is ransomware?
virus hoax list
Microsoft tools
more info on viruses
anti-virus software


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* Vermont PC Solutions is not responsible for any potential damage caused by installing software, by following any advice contained within this site, or from external links from this site.
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