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Recognising and Avoiding Spyware

Spyware is software that gathers information about a person or organisation without their knowledge. Spyware is mostly used for the purposes of tracking and storing Internet users’ movements on the web and serving up pop-up ads to Internet users. Attackers may also use spyware for malicious purposes, using it to capture passwords, banking details and credit card details for example.

How do you know if there is spyware on your computer?

If you observe any of the following it may indicate that spyware has installed on your computer:

  • Pop-up windows keep appearing on your screen.
  • Your default search engine browser keeps changing.
  • You are redirected to web sites other than the one you typed into your browser.
  • You see new, unexpected toolbars in your web browser.
  • You see new, unexpected icons at the bottom of your screen.
  • Your browser’s home page suddenly changes.
  • When typing in your browser certain keys fail to work.
  • Random Windows error messages begin to appear.
  • Your computer suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks (saving files, etc.)