Digital Communication


Digital Communication

Protection against ransomware, scareware and spyware


What is spyware? How to detect and remove it?

The distinction between adware and spyware is often not completely clear, but spyware is generally much more aggressive and camouflaged. While adware usually appears in the app or program overview and can therefore be uninstalled here, spyware acts hidden and in the background. Keyloggers that record keystrokes are encompassed by this term. In this way, codes, passwords, email addresses or other sensitive data can be spied on. You discover this malware especially when your antivirus or firewall issues an alert. On the other hand, if your antivirus is not updated or if you do not have a firewall or an antivirus scanner, then you will be able to assume that an intruder software has inserted itself if your computer suddenly runs slowly.

If in doubt, you can check in the task Manager (press Strg+Alt+Entf and choose “start task manager”) CPU load and scan for unwanted processes. Some Trojans camouflage themselves behind known processes. For example, if the browser is not open at all but the overview of active processes still appears, then a spyware Trojan may be in action here. You can also get an overview of the network load under the “network” tab. If unusual activity is shown here, it could also be an indication of active malware.

Here, the most important protective measure is updating and installing anti-virus software. These programs detect malware and can render it harmless. Even free virus protection can be effective. In addition to the AdwCleaner mentioned above, the following programs are also available for Windows systems, of which there are also free versions:

  • Antivirus: Avira Free Antivirus
  • AVG Antivirus Free
  • Kaspersky Free Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Similar to ransomware removal, Restoration CDs can also be useful in particularly difficult cases, if the disinfection of the computer is no longer possible due in particular to the functions of the operating system and installed anti-virus software. An example is Kaspersky RescueDisk. You can download it directly from the publisher support page. You must then burn a CD or DVD from the downloaded ISO file using a burning program of your choice (eg Nero Burning ROM). You must then change the boot order in the BIOS (basic, input, output system or basic input/output system) and specify that the computer should boot from a CD or DVD on the next reboot.

Depending on the motherboard installed on the computer, it is possible to access the BIOS by one of the function keys which is displayed by the computer at startup. In the BIOS, the appropriate settings can be made in the “Boot” menu. Save then restart the computer and finally press any key when the screen asks you to. This allows you to choose between a textual representation of the rescue program and a graphical user interface during startup, and then scan for and remove malware from the computer.

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