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- Check to see if the problem is adware or your own programs that are just lagging up your computer. Open the Task Manager [CTRL + ALT + DEL] and look at the processes tab. Find any processes that have an abnormally high Memory Usage. If you don't recognize their names, you may have spyware, however, you should not try to disable them in the Task Manager.
- Go to google.com and type in the names of suspicious looking executables. Pages like processlibrary.com or neuber.com are good at identifying malicious processes. [Note: some viruses disguise themselves as windows processes, it is well worth googling0 every process in task manager to find out which could be malicious]
- When discovered which processes are malicious, go to My Computer and search your C: drive for the executable. Delete the executable and any associated files. If an error message saying it is in use, stop the process using task manager and try again.
- When dealing with executables disguised as windows processes, search for them as described in the previous step. And if any duplicates appear in the search results, take CARE to only delete the suspect file that is not where it should be i.e. not in C:WINDOWSSystem32. When identified as malicious, delete the executable and associated files as before.
- Adware often comes 'packaged' with other programs such from places such as Yahoo! and Smiley Central. By not installing/downloading these programs you minimize the amount of adware/spyware you get. Delete these programs first.
- For all other Spyware/Adware download a free, easy-to-use anti-adware program like Spybot-S&D or AdAware. AdAware is a bit easier and is recommended for inexperienced users. NOTE: These programs will catch what the other misses so install both.
- Also there is free 'AVG free edition': "AVG" which is a free anti virus program, and should find any or most viruses and Trojan horses in your system, and that gives the same protection as Norton or McAfee, and that sends regular updates automatically and by request.
- Use a browser such as Mozilla Firefox, which blocks most adware.
- Also, Microsoft's Windows Defender provides real-time scanning of your system, and has a comprehensive definitions library that does an excellent job of detecting spyware.