How do I know if I have spyware?

Some symptoms of spyware are:

  • You're seeing lots of pop-up ads, sometimes when you're not even on the Internet
  • The computer is running unusually slow
  • Your "Connect to" dial-up window pops up all the time - ie the computer is trying to dial into the Internet by itself
  • Your home page changes by itself.  You may or may not be able to change it back
  • You can't access web pages
  • You're getting a lot of strange error messages
  • Your hard drive light is always on
  • When you're on the Internet, the little green screens that show you're connected are always lit, even when you're not doing anything

If some of this sounds familiar, you may be infested with spyware. Please note that viruses can cause some of these symptoms, too. If you're seeing this kind of behavior on your computer, you should check for both viruses and spyware.