Spyware & Adware - What is Spyware?

"Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don't see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies."

-Spybot - Search & Destroy

Spyware has now become a more virulent concern than viruses! More than half of the computer complications that Omega sees are somehow related to this scourge. The average computer that we scan has hundreds of spyware and adware related programs and files.

These programs at the very least slow down your computer and internet connection and track where you go online, but they can prevent you from getting online, bombard you with popup windows (often with pornography), open up back doors to your computer, shutdown virus and other programs that you want to have, change settings on your computer usually starting with your homepage, and eventually they can completely lock up your computer.

Here are some signs that you have spyware...

  1. Your homepage has changed (sometimes you can't change it back to what you want).
  2. Your computer seems slower than usual.
  3. Your internet connection seems slower than usual.
  4. You get a lot of pop-up windows even when you aren't online.
  5. You have extra search bars in Internet Explorer.
  6. You are using file sharing programs like Kazaa or Morpheus (These come with spyware)
  7. You get extra search result pop-up pages whenever you conduct a search online.
  8. Your computer is just acting strange.

This list is not exhaustive and you can have spyware without any symptoms at all.

How do I get rid of and protect myself from Spyware?

You can use programs like Spybot - Search & Destroy* and Ad-Aware* to clean your computer and protect yourself in the future. You can also call The Paraclete Group who has ample experience in cleansing computers from spyware and repairing their damage.

You should also be very very careful about what you download from the internet. Often spyware can get onto your computer without you having any idea how it got there.

*Omega Internet Services, Inc. has no affiliation with Spybot - Search & Destroy and Ad-Aware and although we do recommend these two programs we offer no user support. If you choose to use these programs you should consult their websites for support.

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