If you think you may be infected with spyware, malware, a trojan or a virus.
We cannot support you with spyware etc infections but as general rule of thumb you should avoid any sites that offer you things which should ordinarily be paid for, for free. And anything that looks too good to be true usually is exactly that.
However these things happen so if you find yourself infected with symptoms such as
- Increasing sluggishness and slow response.
- Unexpected advertising messages or pop-ups (spyware is often packaged with adware).
- New toolbars, search engines and internet home pages that you don't remember installing.
- Difficulty logging into secure sites. (If your first login attempt fails and your second succeeds, that may mean the first attempt was on a spoofed browser and the password was communicated to a third party, not to your bank.)
- Inexplicable increases in your data usage or bandwidth use. These can be a sign that the spyware is searching your information and uploading data to a third party.
- Anti-virus and other safety software not working.
Or just erratic behaviour from your system in general files not opening as they normally would etc.
There are a couple of free options you can try to clean your system
Both of the above options will allow you to download, update and run their scanners to attempt to clean your system for you, for free. If you think you are infected we recommend you run both one after the other. this is because one scan will sometimes find infections the other scan doesn't see & vice versa
The scans and cleanup is free but if you want the Realtime scanner (which runs all the time) that is usually a paid for product or service.
There are also some other alternatives here
We don't recommend or endorse any of these products, as they are generally as good as each other & sometimes one is slightly better and at other times its competitor will be slightly better. But there are plenty of comparison sites which will give you recommendations if you want to subscribe or purchase one of these products
If these scans fails to correct your problems. Or and in any case, if you have been infected with spyware we would strongly suggest that you should perform a clean install of windows from a USB key. this is because Spyware & Malware are notoriously difficult to fully remove and often compromises access to sensitive data like passwords and bank details.
You should immediately change any passwords you have been using for such sensitive information. Also change your broadband passwords, and any other information you have accessed on the PC that you dont want other people to have access to.
Instructions are below for a USB install. This will be a clean windows install.
The instructions are worded for Windows 10 but also apply to Windows 11, you just need to go here for the Windows 11 media
We also recommend you format the D: drive on your system as files on this drive may have been infected too.
Please be careful on the internet as there are lots of not so nice people out there.