Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
Technology

Spyware / Malware and Pop-Ups

Viruses, Spyware / Malware and Pop-Ups, and Phishing

The information below contains a brief description and some helpful steps you can take to rid your computer of Spyware / Malware and Pop-Ups. It may be helpful to print this information to follow it.

In general, spyware is any technology that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. On the Internet, spyware is programming that is put in someone's computer to secretly gather information about the user and relay it to advertisers or other interested parties. Spyware can get in a computer as a software virus or as the result of installing/downloading a new program from the Internet.

In other words, it can steal information that is stored on your hard drive and send it to anyone it wants to without you ever knowing! It can also interrupt your network connections and slow down the performance of your computer.

Spyware will get installed with a number of Peer to Peer (P2P) file sharing applications (such as Kazaa, Gnutella, Limewire, and Morpheus). Some examples of spyware programs include: Gator, CommonName, Help Express, WebHancer, SaveNow, Bonzi Buddy, Bargain Buddy, HotBar, CyDoor, lop, Ezula, etc. If you see any of these programs listed under the Add or Remove Programs Control Panel they should be removed. Uninstalling these programs is the first step.

Various websites offer insight into removing these programs:
http://www.cexx.org/adware.htm
http://www.pchell.com/support/spyware.shtml

After removing any known spyware the next step is to run SpyBot and Adware to locate any remaining programs, especially those that don't register with the Windows Add or Remove Programs feature.

To see if you have spyware installed on your computer and to remove it:

  1. Download SPYBOT from our software server and install it.(Directions to the software server can be found at the end of this page).
  2. Once SpyBot is installed it must be updated with the latest definitions. Do this by clicking on the Check for Updates button (located under the Online Tab in Advanced Mode). If updates are detected download them.
  3. Once the updates are installed click on Check for Problems to scan the computer. The scan will take several minutes after which it will list all of the problems it found.
  4. Click the Fix Problems button to remove the spyware programs.

We've all seen them! They are those annoying ads that pop-up and in some cases continually pop-up while we are surfing the Internet. Pop-ups are scripted to attach themselves to some websites and to pop-up when you visit them. Usually, they are advertisements for products and some can be very misleading. They can appear on your screen as a warning message telling you that your computer is about to crash or that someone is stealing your data. They can even pop-up to tell you that you have just won some money, NOT!

Directions to the Software Server
You can easily connect to the site-licensed area of the software server by following the steps on this site to the "shared" space.

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