Stopping Spyware with Windows Defender

Spyware is a term that has come to describe a variety of undesirable software, ranging from annoying pop-up ads to programs that surreptitiously send your private information to other people. Indications of common spyware infections include the following:

  • Unexpected new toolbars, favorites, and links in your web browser

  • Changes to your browser’s home page and default search provider

  • Numerous pop-up ads

  • Sudden occurrence of computer crashes or slow performance

Note that spyware doesn’t necessarily "spy" on you. A common characteristic of anything dubbed "spyware" is that it does its deeds—malicious or otherwise—without your informed consent. (Spyware typically gets installed by deceitfully asking permission to ...

Get Windows Vista® Inside Out Deluxe Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.