Spyware is malicious software installed on your computer without your knowledge. Spyware can cause problems as simple as creating a popup to as drastic as stealing your identity or infecting your computer with a virus.
How Spyware can infect your computer:
- Peer-to-Peer File Sharing: Files that you download, such as exe or zip files, may contain spyware. Only install programs that you know are legitimate.
- Email Attachments: Do not open email attachments from unknown people. These attachments may contain spyware.
- Web Pages: If you are prompted by a web page to install a program for antivirus, antispam, or system tools, DO NOT! These programs are usually spyware.
- ActiveX Installations: If you are not sure what the program is, DO NOT install! Only install from known companies.
- Video Codec: Do not install video codecs for unknown media types.
Above is the common Antivirus 2009 spyware program. Installing it will actually install spyware and viruses.
This is an example of an ActiveX spyware. Have you heard of Enternet Media? Do you trust their software? Does the program name look legit?
Indications that you might have spyware:
- Your computer drastically slows down.
- Your homepage changes to a site you have never visited.
- Popups start appearing on your computer- even outside of your web browser.
What you can do to catch and clean spyware:
- Run anti-spyware software to detect and clean spyware, such as:
- Western’s Forefront Antivirus, which is installed on all WWU computers, will detect and clean spyware.
If you need assistance removing spyware, please contact the ATUS Help Desk at 360.650.3333 or mailto:email@example.com.