ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to Keep your PC Free of Spyware and Malware.

Updated on October 27, 2012

Why is my computer so slow?

You just bought a new computer. It's the latest and greatest with plenty of processor and a ton of RAM. It seems as though nothing can get between you and the internet now as you blaze through your favorite pages effortlessly.

Then, just a few days later, things begin to slow down. Pages aren't loading as fast as they were when you unboxed your computer just briefly before. Programs stop responding, or worse, they don't open at all. So what happened?

One of the primary reasons that computers can slow down so quickly, is the presence of Spyware or Malware. These are little programs that can be installed in the background while you surf the internet. The worst part is, that these programs are usually installed without your knowledge!!!

I work as a desktop support technician for a university, and I see numerous cases of this happening every day. Sometimes it is an easily solvable problem; sometimes not. At any rate, it seems that the infection of computers with spyware and malware is on the rise and there doesn't seem to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

There is something that you can do though. The spyware and malware will always be out there as will be the unethical individuals that create them. However, if you are cautious and follow a few guidelines, you can be virtually spyware free in no time.

Here are a few things that you can do to prevent infections:

1.) Keep your computer software up to date. Spyware, malware, and virus infections often rely on out of date systems that they can exploit. If you have an automatic update feature such as that in Windows, use it. If not, then check for updates at least once a week.

2.) Get a decent antivirus. You don't have to spend a fortune to get a decent antivirus. In-fact, you don't have to spend a penny. One of my favorite antivirus packages, is AVG Free. It's is free for personal use, which means it's great for a home computer. It also has spyware/malware protection as well as a 'surf-shield' which scans pages listed in a search result before you click on them.

3.) Use common sense. I can't count the times that I have seen someone install a 'FREE' screen saver or other such software, and then mysteriously get spyware or malware on their systems. Now I'm not saying that there isn't legitimate free software out there, but make sure that you look it over well before you down;oad and install it. I try to make sure that anything 'FREE' that I download, is certified to be spyware and malware free. It will usually say this somewhere on the site. If it doesn't...BEWARE!!!

4.) If something looks a little different than before....question it! Some malware will actually masquerade as part of Windows. An example of this is 'Antivirus 2009'. It will replace your Windows Security Center with a bogus one that tell you that Antivirus 2009 is unregistered and also conveniently gives you a link to get a licence. If you see this, DO NOT CLICK IT! This has been one of the top pieces of malware that I have removed in the past year!

Removing Infections

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to clean your computer of infections. You just need to educate yourself a little before you make the attempt. Get the right tools and know where to look an you will be just fine.

There are a few free tools that I use on a daily basis to remove infections. I'll talk about each one in detail.

The first, is Malwarebytes anti-malware. This is a very nice product, and ofcourse, so is the price tag. This has gotten me out of more jams that I can even count. The Pros: It's a free download, offers internet updates and does a really nice job of cleaning up your computer. The Cons: To get real-time protection and automatic updates from this product, you must purchase it. You can get this product here:

The second piece of software that I regularly use, is Trend Micro Hijack This! This software is not quite as user friendly, but does an amazing job at finding hidden programs that start with your computer. When a scan is done, it will list all of the startup items on your computer which you can selectively delete. Some items are common sense as to whether or not to delete, but some can be a little misleading. If I see something that I am not sure of, I type it into Google and research before taking any action. The Pros: This product is absolutely free and detects a variety of problems. The Cons: Not as easy to use for a novice user. You  can get this product here:

Another piece of software that I really like is AdAware by Lavasoft. This program is similair to Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, but each seems to detect with slightly different results. Better to scan too much than not enough right?  The Pros: software for personal use and easy to use with internet updates. The Cons: I really see no cons to this product.

Last on my list, is a good antivirus. This is the HUB of a clean PC. As I mentioned before, you don't have to spend a ton of money on an antivirus solution. AVG has given very good results for me and even stopped an infection of Antivirus 2009 when other antiviruses failed to do so. Once you have scanned with the other products listed above, do a full scan with the antivirus (sometimes called 'Thorough') This will take some time to complete depending on how much data is on your computer, but well worth it in the end. You can get AVG Free here:

Now it's a little tough for me to do a tutorial on how to get rid of a specific infection since there are so many out there, but this will give you an idea of the proper tools to use to get the job done. If you need a specific tutorial, please request a HUB from me and I will write it just for you!

Thanks and good luck!!!


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)