Often, there’s no warning of adware and spyware infection. These malicious codes could be silently installed on our system. However, we should be able to spot a number of telltale signs:
- Web Browser changes
Often, the most obvious change is that the landing page of our web browser has changed. This should indicate that a program have performed unauthorized changes to our computer. Very often, the page shown has a search-engine like layout, but when we perform searches on it, they are filled with specific ads. If our homepage changes frequently, then there’s a good chance that our system is already infected by adware of spyware.
- Busy modem Light or continuously active Online Data Transfer
We could test this by closing the web browser and see whether the modem light continues to blink. We could also check data transfer using specific tools to see whether the modem continues to send and receive data even if the browser has been closed. This is an indication that a spyware continuously sends data about our computer to a remote server.
- Numerous unwanted Email Messages
Many of us get a few junk emails each day, but we should be suspicious if we begin to receive more and more junk email. It should be a reason for further investigation. A spyware could work behind closed doors to send relevant email messages.
- Overall System slowdowns
Sometimes, we find that our computer begins to slow down and seems to struggle when running typical tasks. Loading web pages and launching software seem to take longer. When we check the Task Manage windows, we could see that something has used all available resources, such as processor usages and amount of RAM.
- Unexplained redirects
Adware and spyware continuously redirect our web browser without our consent. We often end up at webpages and websites that we don’t search for. If this happens, it is likely that we have been redirected by invisible adware and spyware.
- Intrusive Banners
Adware could open an avalanche of banners and pop-ups when we use a web browser. These pop-ups and banners are usually difficult to close. And if we are able to close a few them, they will be quickly replaced by others. In some cases, there could be so many banners and pop-ups that our computer is simply overwhelmed.
- Unknown 900 numbers
900 numbers typically carry charges for access and we should be suspicious if we notice spikes of 900 phone bill charges. It should be noted that some adware and spyware could be responsible for orchestrating identity theft.
- Strange entries in favourite Folder
We should be wary if we start to see some strange entries in the favourite folder. We should regularly check the favourite folder for these entries and delete them immediately.
- New web Browser Toolbars
Sometimes new toolbars appear on our web browser and this is a strong indication that an adware has been installed. The toolbar is usually filled with buttons that point to specific websites and pages.