Spyware infects your computer through Internet Explorer active X controls or other scripts. The spyware will install itself on you computer creating process that run in the back ground collecting information on your internet habits. They see which website you frequent and start sending you spam or pop-ups. The most malicious spyware can help hackers collect credit card information and key aspects of your identity.
The reason spyware is so hard to remove is because these process have to be stopped and then deleted. Spyware programs can prevent deletion by randomly renaming files and restarting process when a spyware deletion program attempts to disinfect a computer. Also the other hard part of removing spyware is the numerous amount of registry keys that are installed.
The following steps are for basic spyware removal. Often these steps will give you enough time to recover your data so you can perform and fresh install of your computer. Remember, in the computer security world once a computer is infected it can never be trusted again.
First disconnect the computer from the internet. Next you will want to find a computer that is not infected and down these applications from the internet to a flash drive: Spybot Search and Destroy, Adware, Spyblaster, and Hijack this. To find these applications all you have to do is type their name in google.
Now you have downloaded the applications transfer them to the infected computer and install everything except hijack this. Now you will want to reboot your computer into safe mode. You can boot into safe mode by pressing F8 and choosing safe mode. Once in safe mode run Spy Bot Search and destroy. Follow all the defaults when running spybot search and destroy and you will begin to see all the infected files on your computer. The program will finish running and list all the infected files and in the right column it will give a descriptions.
Now, you will be prompted to fix these files, look at the files that are listed and make sure you aren’t removing anything important. Once you have checked all the files that you want removed, you might be prompted that S&D was unable to remove all the files and needs to restart you computer and run at start up. If this happens then you computer will restart and S&D will attempt to run at startup getting to the files before they can initiate.
Next you will want to run Adaware in safe mode and follow the defaults. This program often will find files that Spy will miss and vice versa. It doesn’t matter which order you run them just run them in safe mode. After you run both of these programs you will want reboot your computer into regular mode and down load the latest updates and definitions and re-run them again in safe mode. With the latest updates even more spyware will be removed.
Now, if you still are having problems the you will want to run Hijack This and submit your log to the hijack this forum where forum members can tell you exactly what to remove. Hijack this will list all the process that have Hijacked your internet browser. That forum is great and it is filled with very knowledgeable people.
Once you think that you have removed the problem spyware you need to install Spyware Blaster and Firefox. Firefox is an internet browser and Spyware blaster will attempt to block the spyware from being installed kind of like a flu shot. Firefox does not use scripting and active x controls thus eliminating a ton of spyware threats. Good luck and if you use FireFox prior to being infected you probably won’t get infected.