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Spyware attacked my computer and I don't know how to get it off! What do I do?

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1) Remove Unwanted / Suspicious Program.
The First thing that you should do is Remove / Uninstall, Unwanted or Suspicious Programs from your System. To do this Follow the Instructions:

  • Click Start
  • Click Control Panel
  • Double Click on Add or Remove Program.
  • Select the Unwanted / Suspicious Program and Click on Remove.
2) Clearing the Startup.
The first thing that you should do is to stop unwanted programs from running in the background. There is a Tool in Windows that allows us to do that and it is called the "System Configuration Utility" (MSCONFIG).
Now most of the time with Infected Computers, the Normal Mode is Really Difficult to work with and so the best place to start would be to restart the Computer in the Safe Mode.
To Start your Computer in Safe Mode, do the Following:
  • Turn your Computer Off.
  • Now As Soon as you Turn the Computer On, Keep tapping the F8 Key (Present in Top Row) on your Keyboard
  • It will give you a screen that says "Windows Advanced Options"
  • Here You will Have Options to Select Either "Safe Mode" or "Safe Mode with Networking".
Once in the Safe Mode,
  • Click Start and Click Run.
  • Type "MSCONFIG" (Without the Quotes) and Click OK
  • Now Click on the Tab called "Startup". (Here you see all the Programs that Starts when your system Starts)
  • Now Click On "Disable All".
  • Now Remember, when you click on "Disable All", you are also Disabling your Antivirus, So be sure to put a check mark next to everything related to your Antivirus.
  • Then Click on Apply.
    • Once you Click on Disable All and all the Check Marks are gone (except for your Antivirus), Then click on either OK or Close.
    • It will Ask you to Restart your Computer, So please go ahead and do so.
    This is a Very Powerful tool and needs to be used Very Carefully. If not used Properly, it can cause Software and Registry Problems in your System.
    • Go to the Website, http://www.tdwebsite.com
    • In the Left Pane, Click on the Link Called "Downloads"
    • Now Click on "Free Anti - Spyware Softwares"
    • In there Click on "HiJack This".
    • UnZip the Main File in a Separate Folder named HJT on the Desktop.
    • Then Open the HJT and Double Click on Hijackthis.exe
    a) Run Hijack This and Select the First Option
    b) The Log file is Automatically Created, just Copy the Entire content of this Log.
    c) Go to http://www.hijackthis.de and paste the Log in the Blank Box and Click Analyze
    d) If you Scroll down the Same window, it will give you the List of HJT Log and will tell you if it is Safe or Nasty.
    e) Put Check Marks on the Nasty Entries and then Click on Fix Checked, It will ask you a Question, just click on Yes

    Spyware Prevention.
    Preventing Spywares from Entering your System is not that Difficult. You should Never Trust a Pop Up that Says your System is Infected or Anything Like that if it is a Message from your Internet Browser. Following are some of the Thumb Rules that can prevent Spywares from Entering your System:
    • Stop Visiting Websites that offer Cracked Softwares or Other Illegal Activity.
    • Do Not Visit Porn Related Websites.
    • Do not Visit Websites that Generate Unwanted Pop Ups.
    • DO NOT Click on Any Pop Ups that are Generated by your Internet Browser. (ALWAYS Use the RED X on the Top Right To Close the Pop Up)
    • Avoid using File Sharing Softwares. If you are using them, use it very carefully and Read the "License Agreement" Before Installing those Softwares, as they may mention about other Softwares that are being installed.
    • Install a Good Antivirus and Keep it Updated Regularly.
    • If your Antivirus does not come with a Firewall then install a Firewall like Zone Alarm (Can be Downloaded from http://www.tdwebsite.com or http://www.zonelabs.com).
    • Keep your Windows OS Regularly Updated and if Possible, be sure that Service Pack 2 is installed as it also has a good Pop Up Blocker.
    • Install a Good Anti Spyware like Ad Aware or Spy Sweeper or Windows Defender and Keep it Updated.
    • Run a Virus Scan using Antivirus at least Once a Week.
    • Run a Spyware Scan using Anti Spywares at least Once in every 3 or 4 days (If Possible Every Night Before Turning Computer Off).

    Posted on Jun 05, 2008

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