Spyware Removal: Registry Keys and Related Software

What is Spyware?

Spyware is a computer program that installs onto user systems without consent to collect personal information and send it to external sources. Most commonly spyware comes bundled with software programs, audio and video files, and games.

Different spyware programs have different functions. Some of these are adware programs that collect user information for advertising purposes. These spyware programs collect information such as websites you visit and information you search for on the web. If your PC is infected with this type of spyware, you may be frequented with popup advertisements. Some really bad spyware programs may also collect your financial information such as credit cards and bank account numbers to use it for mal-purposes.

Unlike viruses and worms, Spyware rarely replicate. However, they can easily gain access to an infected computer by using the open security vulnerabilities in the system. The typical function of Spyware is to deliver unsolicited advertisements to host computers, steal personal user information, monitor Internet related activity, and route users on the Internet to advertisement websites.

Working of Anti-Spyware Programs

There are a number of anti-spyware utilities available today that you can use to remove spyware from your system. These utilities primarily work by following the techniques discussed below.

First, the anti-spyware programs shield your PC from spyware attacks and prevents them from creeping onto your system. This action is similar to how your antivirus utility works – scans all incoming traffic for spyware and block suspicious information from downloading to your PC. This type of protection is referred to as real-time protection.

The second anti-spyware technique involves detection and removal of spyware related data from your system. In this process, during spyware removal, registry keys, operating system files, and various programs installed on your system are scanned for spyware infestation and a list of possible threats is displayed to you on the screen. You can scan through the list and select the programs, registry keys, and files that you would like to eliminate from your system. These types of anti-spyware programs are more popular among users because you can easily schedule them to perform periodic scans on daily, weekly, or monthly basis to detect and eliminate spyware-related information from your system.

Initially anti-spyware programs came only with detection and removal features. However, these days, real-time protection has been included in these programs to prevent spyware from gaining access to your system and installing their files.

Just like your antivirus utility, the definitions of anti-spyware utilities need to be updated regularly. This is important because new spyware programs are released almost everyday and if your anti-spyware program is not ready to handle any new spyware it is useless. The manufacturers of your anti-spyware utility regularly update their database with latest threats and release these updates on their Web site. Being a vigilant user, you must regularly download these updates and install them on your PC. Many anti-spyware programs come with a built-in automatic or live update feature that you can use to schedule the program to automatically check for regular updates and install them on your system.

There are number of spyware and adware programs lurking about on the Internet. These programs try to gain access to your system through software programs, audio files, and games that you download from the Web. As the name suggests, spyware programs, spy on your private information and send it out to somebody else. Anti-spyware programs available today provide real-time protection to your computer by preventing spyware programs from downloading to your PC. Additionally, during spyware removal, registry keys, infected files, and programs are detected and removed from the system. You can also choose to use an advanced registry cleaner utility to weed out embedded spyware registry keys and delete them.