Saturday, 30 July 2011

How do I know if I have spyware on my computer?

I think my boyfriend has installed a keylogger or some sort of spyware on my desktop computer which tracks what I type. I suspect he wants to find my Facebook and e-mail passwords. He's a bit jealous and our relationship is like a roller coaster. Sometimes I just find it hard to love him. Anyway, a few days ago I asked him to help me with my computer. It took him about an hour to fix my PC. An hour is plenty of time to install spyware on a computer I guess. I did a full scan with my anti-virus program and it says my computer is clean. Is there anyway I can find out if spyware is installed on my computer? Anything helpful would be appreciated.
Currently, various computer activities are carried out daily – from chatting with friends to accessing your online bank account. However, since these activities contain personal information about you, anyone, who has an access to your computer, may install a spyware program on it purposely. Actually, this kind of program gives an opportunity for installer to hack your personal data (such as account logins and passwords, etc.) and/or to monitor your activities (the list of visited websites, screenshots and etc. are available). It is not only destroying your privacy, but also may have serious consequences (e.g. empty bank account, changed passwords), so if you suspect anyone, for example your boyfriend or ex (fairly common), spying on you, keep reading and get some advices.

Of course, the simplest solution to detect and clean spyware is to show your computer for a normal technician. However the easiest way is usually not the cheapest one and therefore here is something you can try before spending a lot of money. Basically, the best thing you can do is to format the hard disk(s) and reinstall Windows or any other OS you are using. The negative side of this decision is that you have to refuse all your data. Well, you can save it in other device and then copy it back, but doing that might affect the final result negatively. The fact is that some spyware programs can be hidden in your files, restoring them will bring back the spyware together.

In case you have no wish to erase all your data or you want to save at least some of it, you may consider using anti-spyware programs. Most of them are rather effective against commercial and non-commercial (e.g. created by your ex or other malicious people) spywares. Unfortunately not every program is able to detect all kind of spywares, but using at least one, will greatly reduce the risk of infection and/or will help to detect already infected places by scanning them. We recommend using this anti-malware software. It usually catches keyloggers and spyware very effectively.

Sadly, despite of all your efforts, there are no guarantees that this will definitely recover your privacy and safety. It is only recommendations which are supposed to help you in the beginning. And if you still (after taking all above mentioned means) have a feeling like being spied on, then it is probably wise to invest some more money for professional analysis of your PC.

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