Spyware - Detection, Removal and Prevention

Published 05/04/2005 14:33   |    Updated 23/04/2008 14:09
How can I detect, remove and protect against spyware?
  1. What is spyware, adware and malware?

    Spyware (also known as adware and malware) can install on your computer using a variety of methods, for instance if you view a web page that has malicious code, or through a virus which has infected your computer. You may not notice the effects of the program, but it can send information to third parties about the Web pages you have viewed, and at worst personal information like your passwords or bank and credit card details.

    Sometimes the effects of spyware can be all too visible and your Internet experience can be affected. You may have an unusually slow Internet connection, unwanted pop-up boxes may appear on your computer or your homepage could be changed (or hijacked) against your will.

  2. What steps can I take to minimise Spyware problems?

    Spyware programs take advantage of security loopholes in your operating system, browser or email client, to install themselves and run on your computer.

    We recommend that you install a firewall, anti-virus software and the latest security updates for your computer's operating system.

    There are a number of programs specifically designed to reduce the risks of spyware which will add an extra level of protection once installed.

  3. How do I remove unwanted spyware?

    If you find that your computer has become infected with unwanted spyware, don't panic. There are a number of steps you can take to correct the problem.

    If you've not done so already you should protect your computer with a firewall, install the latest security patches for your computers operating system, and update and scan your computer with up-to-date anti-virus software.

    Certain software is better at removing specific types of spyware programs so it can be worth using a few of the following.

  4. Software which detects, and cleans your computer from Spyware and ad-aware:
    • Spybot Search and Destroy
    • Ad-Aware
    • SpySweeper

  5. Software which will remove webpage hi-jackers if your homepage is changed against your will:
  • CWShredder

  1. If the above programs are unable to remove spyware from your computer, support is available at:


    BT Ireland is unable to offer support, nor accept any responsibility for external links or any third-party software you install on your PC. We do feel it is important to suggest sites that we have used. You should be wary of advertisers promoting similar software, often using pop-up alerts. Some disreputable sites can offer expensive solutions, or even result in your computer running more Spyware programs.

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