Texas Tech University.
TTU Home Safe Computing Practices Lubbock Community Critical Topics
logo small

Spyware

Spyware

Private Eyes: Who is watching you online?

Spyware is software written specifically to obtain personal information from your computer.  In the process, spyware can destroy your data, steal confidential information, and create unneeded hassle.  Spyware installs itself on your PC without your knowledge and can be very difficult to detect and remove.  Whether motivated by commercial or criminal intent, all spyware invades your privacy and threatens your information security.

Spyware is spread through file downloading, fake anti-spyware programs/applications, and installation of “free” software or browser plug-ins. Please beware that spyware records your online activity, to include purchases, browsing history, and communications. 

Don't Be a Victim - How Spyware Invades

Recognizing and Removing Spyware

How do I know if I have Spyware?

Spyware typically makes it's presence known when browsing the internet is slow and unwanted windows and objects appear at random.

If you have see any of the symptoms described below you should scan your computer with either Ad-Aware or Spybot, or even both.

How do I remove Spyware?

Your first line of defense is to install and run an anti-spyware program such as Ad-Aware or Spybot. They will both identify and in most cases remove many different aggressive ad tools. This includes everything from cookies to malware. Ad-Aware and Spybot are safe, free and easy to install and run.

  1. Download and install anti-spyware program(s).
  2. Run the "Check for updates now" or similar option every time you run the Spyware scanning software.
  3. Scan your machine, then select and remove anything it finds
  4. Run the Spyware scanning software again until it finds nothing
  5. Running the software twice a month will help keep your system clean.

Common Spyware Methods

Common Spyware Traps

This is a list of some common programs that are distributed with Spyware: