Spyware symptoms and behavior are relatively easy to detect. The symptoms and behavior of spyware can affect the computer’s performance and cause long-term damage, if not properly dealt with. There are some things one can look for to determine if a PC has been infected with spyware.
Browsing experience changes
An additional browser tool is one thing an individual can look for when using a PC. If the PC should all of a sudden have an additional toolbar added to a web browser, one can suspect that spyware is the culprit. Spyware software often installs an altered form of an internet browser tool on the PC. When a URL is redirected during an attempt is made to visit a site, one can reasonably assume that the PC may have been infected with spyware. Some spyware is capable of changing the user’s designated home page. The internet browser may also take a while to navigate to a specific website. Additional bookmarks that haven’t been assigned by a user are another common form of spyware behavior. Difficulty conducting accurate searches is common behavior among PC’s infected with spyware. An individual may type in a search field certain information, and the sites returned do not match the query.
Paying careful attention to any changes in the desktop settings is something else the user should do. Some spyware causes the icon on a pointer for the mouse to unexpectedly change. Others can generate random pop-up windows when there is no internet activity. These pop-ups can surface at any time. Some occur when an application opens, others may occur when the computer is initially started.
Many experience problems with the email application they use. If there is a sudden change in the volume of bounced items, or if one is experiencing other email-related problems, spyware may be the issue. Some spyware items can copy the email address of a sender, and use the address to forward emails to various contacts randomly.
Computer operates differently
Another common symptom of spyware behavior is a computer that runs slower than usual. When an individual attempts to log on to a PC, or restart a computer, the startup process will be sluggish. Often a computer that is slow to start can be a spyware symptom for a PC. Some spyware behavior causes the computer to make random noises. Some even cause the drive to open and shut unexpectedly while in use. Crashes are another spyware symptom users should look for; in mid-session the PC can unexpectedly crash. Trouble opening an application is another common spyware problem; it can cause a PC to take longer handling certain requests.
If any of the spyware behavior above is noticed above, one should not be hesitant to have it removed using some type of removal program such as System Optimizer Pro. If spyware symptoms are allowed to persist for a certain amount of time, CPU activity can be affected, and applications can start to freeze. PC resources such as, undesirable disk usage can be caused by spyware. Unwanted network traffic can continuously expose the computer to added risks, making the PC more vulnerable over time.