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Your system runs noticeably slower than it did before. It could be infected by spyware. Spyware is a type of software that is installed on your computer to watch and record your activity. Some types of spyware record your keystrokes and information that you type into websites or other programs and then use that information for targeted advertising or identity theft. These programs can be installed on your computer in many ways, but often they are hidden inside of software such as free games, screen savers, or animated cursors.
Here are some signs that your computer might be infected with spyware:
A search toolbar or other browser toolbar appears even though you didn't request or install it. Spyware programs are usually installed with other programs that are advertised in legitimate ways.
You enter a search term in Internet Explorer's address bar and press Enter to start the search. Instead of your usual search site, an unfamiliar site handles the search. A spyware program might be responsible for this.
When you start your browser, the home page has changed to something undesirable. Normally to a search portal that the spyware is trying to market.
You get pop-up advertisements when your browser is not running or when your system is not even connected to the Internet, or you get pop-up ads that address you by name. A spyware program could be doing this.
A new item appears in your Favorites list without your putting it there. No matter how many times you delete it, the item always reappears later. Spyware behaviors are normally very annoying.
You receive an email in your email client with offers related to your recent Internet searches. A spyware might be monitoring your buying habits.
At a time when you're not doing anything online, the send or receive lights on your dial-up or broadband modem blink just as wildly as when you're downloading a file or surfing the Web. Or the network/modem icon in your system tray flashes rapidly even when you're not using the connection. This could be a spyware program sending out info from your computer.
Your spyware cure program or another protective program stops working correctly. It may warn you that certain necessary support files are missing, but if you restore the files they go missing again. It may appear to launch normally and then spontaneously shut down, or it may simply crash whenever you try to run it. Some Spyware programs will try to shut down your computer security programs so that they can run without being noticed.
Your phone bill includes expensive calls to 900 numbers that you never made - probably at an outrageous per-minute rate. Spyware programs can cost you thousands of dollars in losses.
And the final sign is: Everything appears to be normal. The most devious spyware doesn't leave traces you'd notice! They are sitting in your system, malignant and undetected but their destruction is grave. Try using spyware cure program.