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Spyware Removal Tools. Software Programs You Can't Live Without!

You just purchased a brand new computer. You turn it on and discover how wonderful it is. It runs super fast, going from one page to another. Your surfing really is much faster now. Life is wonderful.

Fast forward a few months. Your brand new computer doesn't seem to be performing like it used to. It's now running very slowly and your hard drive seems to be making a lot of noise.

What's happened? There is a strong possibility that you have had some sort of spyware, adware, or malware installed on your computer. These unwanted programs can wreak havoc on your computer. Symptoms can vary. The number one symptom is that your computer is not nearly as fast as it used to be. Other symptoms can include the following: pop-ups are now appearing while you surf, strange icons appear on either your desktop or start up menu that you haven't seen before, your browser gets replaced for another, your mouse cursor seems to float across the page while at rest, your computer locks up frequently, and displays a lot of error codes, and you start receiving a lot of spam in your email.

These symptoms are just the beginning. Left unchecked, they will get worse. As annoying as these problems are, there is a more serious result that can occur if action isn't taken.

Spyware is basically a program that gets installed on your computer by advertising companies that want to monitor your surfing habits to assist them in their marketing efforts. However, a more serious form of spyware, called malware can get installed on your hard drive that can cause some really serious problems. One, malware can basically crash your computer, making it a necessity to erase everything on your PC and start over from scratch. This is not a fun task. I have had it happen to me and I lost a lot of important information during that process. There are also forms of spyware that can get installed on your PC that will allow a remote user to use your PC from a distance for all kinds of illegal activity such as child porn to spamming. If you find yourself in this situation, it will be difficult to prove your innocence.

Identity theft can also occur as a result of spyware, adware, and malware. Your banking information, credit card numbers, and passwords can get stolen.

So, the question arises, how do you prevent these events from happening?

The main activities that people do that exposes them to spyware are downloading files related to the following: Screensavers, music, PC games, movies, and pictures. So to start off with, I would avoid downloading anything from the Internet in those categories.

Be sure that you have a high quality firewall installed and have it set to either medium or medium high. If you set it to high, you will find that it won't let you perform a lot of activities on the Internet.

Change your passwords monthly on your online banking accounts, credit card accounts, email accounts, or any other sensitive accounts that you would not want anyone having access to.

Whenever you do sign into important accounts, always open up a new browser window to log-in and always be sure to log yourself out. You don't need your passwords floating out there in cyberspace.

Be sure that your virus program is set to receive automatic updates. The same thing goes with windows. Be sure it is set to receive automatic updates, also. The reason being is that important patches will be sent out as soon as their programmers find gaps in their programming that allows these activities to filter through their programming. Without these patches, you are leaving yourself wide open to attack.

It should go without saying that a high quality spyware removal program should be obtained. This will work in tandem with your main security program, such as McAfee or Norton. There are some free ones, like Ad Aware SE that can be obtained, however, in my experience, I have found that the free ones don't offer near the protection that the paid versions do. A high quality spyware removal program can detect the following: spyware, adware, malware, worms, viruses, and trojans. It will also alert you in real time before any of these unwanted programs are actually installed on your PC, allowing you to prevent the unwanted program from being installed in the first place. Another program that I would encourage you to purchase is a registry repair program. This one tool is invaluable as most of the damage done by spyware will wreak havoc on your windows registry.

Protecting your PC and preventing identity theft will be an ongoing battle. As the hackers develop new ways to cause trouble, spyware programmers have to find ways to battle back. The battle can be won as long as the right precautions are taken in your surfing habits and you have the right tools to address the problems.

About the Author: David Dorrough is a retired educator, having taught at several leading universities. Today, he is active as a free lance writer and Adsense Publisher. For more information on spyware and tools to remove them, visit the following site:

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