April 16, 2008

Tech Tip: How To Remove Spyware & Adware [Windows]

Adware & Spyware are programs that gather information about you while you use your computer. This could be advertising in a program you downloaded or a malicious program running stealthily in your computer’s background. They can cause many inconveniences to a computer user. Besides using up system resources they also pose a security risk because they transmit potentially private information without user knowledge or intervention.


You should first try to remove spyware using Add or Remove Programs in Windows (click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs). Once there you can uninstall any suspicious program. To help you we have compiled a list of common spyware below.

Some free tools for removing adware and spyware are Ad-Aware 2007 Free and Spybot Search & Destroy.

You may also want to clean your registry using RegCleaner.
Note: This is a simple tool, but can cause damage to your computer if you delete something that is needed by the system. Please ensure that you are certain what you delete is not needed.

Warning: Whenever making changes to the registry it is recommended that you make a backup first in case something goes wrong. All the programs linked to here are capable of making backups.

Preventative Measures

To reduce the chances of getting spyware on your computer you should do the following:

  • Do not install suspicious programs or plugins onto your computer. You can always search for more information about a program before installing it.
  • Scan regularly using both your antivirus and antispyware programs.
  • Keep your operating system updated either by turning on automatic updates or updating manually on a regular basis.
  • Use an alternative browser like Mozilla Firefox or Opera since most spyware and adware is targeted at Internet Explorer users.

Some Common Spyware/Adware:
180 Solutions
Fun Web Products
Spy Falcon

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