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Tips for Detecting Spyware on Your Computer

There are a few methods you can employ to determine if your computer has been infected with spyware.

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Spyware is sneaky as it is just a little piece of computer code that is usually installed on your computer without your knowledge. Often, these programs are installed when you install some other program.

Some spyware programs are not destructive, but there are some malware programs that attempt to steal your personal information which could then be used to steal your identity. Preventing identity theft is one of the most troubling problems that the spyware proliferation on the internet poses. Everyone needs to take proper measures through keeping their operating systems up to date and utilizing third party spyware scanning programs to prevent the infection.

The second big problem that even the most innocuous spyware imposes is that it wastes precious computer resources and slows down the performance of your computer. One reason is because the programs are usually not well coded and they contain numerous memory leaks and other non-optimized code.

These programs usually run in the background and are designed so that they are not easily detected.

There are many SpyWare detection programs on the Internet that are designed to stop these programs.  The problem is that there are many more Spyware writers than there are spyware dector writers, so most spyware is never detected.

There are a few simple methods you can employ to determine if your computer has been infected.

If you watch your hard drive light, you may notice an excessive amount of activity when you are doing processes on your computer. This could be a valid process such as a Virus Scan or valid operating system process running.  On the other hand, it could be a spyware program doing its work in the background.

Another method for detecting spyware on your computer is to check the processes in your computer task manager for rogue programs.

This is not hard to do, but it does take a little time to effectively perform. If you are running Windows XP then an easy way to check your task manager processes is to right click on the task bar and select Task Manager. You will receive a dialog box, where you can view the processes running. You do NOT want to look in the Applications section as many times that will not help you because these programs are hidden. Then, you will need to research each process running using a search engine such as Google to determine if the process may be a rogue process and possibly spyware.

A confusing fact is that there will normally be many processes running in the Task Manager and most of those will be valid. If you notice one of the programs that is taking a lot more resources than the others such as CPU time or Memory consumption then that is a good candidate for a SpyWare program.

You will probably want to start with the high usage programs and research those first.

If you look for these two items, then you will be able to detect the prescense of most types of spyware, but that is not to say you should not have a Spyware detection program installed. There are many of these programs - both free and commercial versions.

While the free type of detection program may seem most appealing, there is something to be said for the viability of commercial versions too. After all, if you consider the danger that Spyware could possibly pose to your security then do you not want a version that has a great reputation, such as, and thus a company with the resources to research the various threats as they evolve and do the necessary research to effectively combat the threat this poses to your identity and safe web surfing experience.

STOPzilla Anti-Spyware -- Spyware Removal Tool

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Tips for Detecting Spyware on Your Computer
Page Updated 8:44 PM Friday 5/2/2014