Removing Spyware and Adware

When using the Internet and downloading files, your computer can become infected with spyware and adware. To keep your computer free of spyware and adware, we recommend running two spy-ware removal programs on a regular basis: Ad-aware and Spybot. This article explains how to use these free programs to scan your hard drive (like an anti-virus program) to detect and remove any malicious adware or spyware files.

What is spyware and adware?  

Spyware is software that keeps track of everything you do on the Internet, and then reports all of this behavior (along with information about things like how long it took you to get to each web site, how long you stayed there, etc.) back to a main computer. Not only does this violate your privacy on the Internet, but it also creates a lot of additional traffic across your Internet connection, and often makes web browsing and other online activities much slower than normal.

Adware is additional software that causes you to get more annoying pop-up and pop-under advertisements than normal. 

What you should do 

To keep your computer free of spyware and adware, we recommend running two spy-ware removal programs on a regular basis: Ad-aware and Spybot. These are free programs that will scan your hard drive (like an anti-virus program) to detect and remove any malicious adware or spyware files. These programs can be obtained from the following web sites:

  • Ad-aware
  • Spybot

To run Ad-aware:

  1. Open Ad-aware, and then click Check for updates.
  2. Follow the prompts to connect to the update server and download the latest reference file.
  3. Click Scan Now, and then click Next to accept the default settings and begin the scan.
  4. When the scan completes, click Next.
  5. Right-click on the list of ad software and files found, and choose Select All Objects.
  6. Click Next to remove the files from your computer. Click OK when it prompts you to confirm.
  7. Once the files have been deleted, you can close Ad-aware.

To run Spybot:

(Instructions coming soon!)

We recommend that you run Ad-aware and Spybot on a regular basis, at least once per month, or more often if you find you are having problems.