How to Remove Spyware from Your Computer
Level of difficulty:
With the increasing number of computer users logging onto the Internet on a daily basis, it has become a very viable launching pad for the distribution and execution of malicious codes like spyware which are used to track not only the local activities of the user but his surfing habits as well. By far, many unscrupulous Internet advertisers have resorted to the use of these dangerous and unwanted programs to aggressively and intrusively deliver their unsolicited advertising contents directly onto the user’s Web browsers. Some spyware programs even go to the extreme of hijacking the homepage, search page, and error page of the Web browser to take full control of the Internet activities of the unwary user. Because of its malicious and potentially dangerous payload, every computer user must protect their machines from becoming hosts of these malicious codes used by hackers to steal confidential information from the infected system.
- anti-spyware tool
- Web browser
- Internet connection
The first step to removing unwanted spyware from your computer system is to download the necessary tools from a machine certified to be spyware free. Burn the downloaded tools onto a CD or DVD media to make sure that they will not become corrupted.
Disconnect your machine from the Internet. Since majority of these spyware programs reside on the Internet, and they take commands from host servers on the Internet, it is practical to terminate their communication with their authors. Close all open browser windows and physically disconnect the connection of the machine to the modem or network router.
Once the malicious code no longer has access to the Internet, it becomes a bit vulnerable. Try traditional uninstall methods. Click on the 'Start' button and select the 'Control Panel' option.
In the Control Panel window, click the 'Add/Remove Programs' category. Search the list for the presence of the unwanted spyware component. Click on it and select the 'Remove' button. Once removed from the list, close all open windows and reboot the machine.
After the reboot process, scan the computer using your installed anti-spyware program. Make sure that the protection software is updated and that a full system scan is done. If no more spyware is detected, your system is now clean; however, if there is still spyware in the machine, proceed to the next step.
Since majority of the spyware programs in the computer world today belong to the Zlob Trojan family, running the SmitFraudFix tool will eliminate some of the more stubborn spyware variants.
During the reboot process, press the F8 key and opt to load the Operating System in Safe Mode. Run another system scan (if your protection software will allow it) to make sure that basic components are not infected. If all is clear, reboot the machine to Normal Mode.
Click on the 'Start' button and select the 'Control Panel' option. Choose the 'Internet Options' icon to bring up the Internet Properties window.
Click on the 'Programs' tab and click the 'Reset Web Settings' button. Click 'Apply'. This will roll back all Internet Explorer program settings to their factory defaults.
Click the 'Security' tab. Select the 'Trusted Sites Zone' and click on the 'Sites' button. Make sure that nothing is in the list. Click the 'OK' button to make the changes permanent.
Turn off the computer. Reconnect the machine to the modem or the router. Boot up the computer and update the protection program including the Operating System to minimize the possibility of future infections.