Removing Spyware from My Computer

The following information is only applicable to those running Windows on their ThinkPad or Desktop computers as MAC OS X is inherently resistant to Spyware. Both NMU-leased Windows and OSX machines come pre-installed with Kaspersky Antivirus

While the Internet is a powerful resource and provides users with many useful and often entertaining things to see and do, it also has its dark side. Most people are familiar with freeware, shareware, cookies, media players, interactive content, and file sharing. What they may not realize is that some of the aforementioned may contain code or components that allow the developers of these applications and tools to actually collect and disseminate information about those using them.

These spyware applications also can slow your computer down and make some essential Web sites like inaccessible. They can track your surfing habits, abuse your Internet connection by sending this data to a third party, profile your shopping preferences, hijack your browser start page or pages, alter important system files, and can do this without your knowledge or permission.

To protect yourself, scan your computer periodically for spyware.

Below are two programs that will scan your machine for spyware.

We reccomend Malwarebytes and Microsoft Windows Defender, and we use Malwarebytes (among other tools) at the HelpDesk.

To learn how to use and install Malwarebytes, follow the instructions below. 

1. Open your web browser and navigate to Select "Download." 

2. Select "Download Free Version" under the "For Home" category.  

3. When prompted, choose "Save File" to save the setup file. 

4. When the file finishes downloading, navigate to its saved location, which by default is your "Downloads" folder. Double-click the mbam-setup file and follow the instructions in the setup wizard. On the final step, be sure to uncheck the option to start a free trial of Malwarebytes premium before clicking "Next." 

5. Malwarebytes should automatically open if you left the "Launch Malwarebytes" option checked in the wizard. Otherwise, double-click the desktop icon the wizard created. 

6. With Malwarebytes open, select the "Scan" tab and then click "Start Scan." This may take anywhere from 10-60 minutes.

7. When the scan completes, the number of threats will show under "Threats Identified." Click "Finish." 

8. To remove the threats, click the "History" tab and select the "Delete All" option in the bottom corner. When all the items have been removed, restart your computer. 
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