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About Spyware, Adware, and Browser Hijacking Software

This document applies to all PCs and products that use a PC, such as printers.
This document explains the differences between spyware, adware, and hijacking software. It helps resolve issues caused by these types of software. Some indications that the computer might contain spyware are shown in the following list:
  • Poor system performance, especially while browsing the Internet.
  • The computer stops responding more frequently.
  • The computer takes longer to open the Windows desktop.
  • Browser closes unexpectedly or stops responding.
  • Performing a search from a search page provides results on a different site.
  • Clicking a link does nothing or goes to an unrelated Web site.
  • The browser home page changes and cannot be reset. Usually about:Blank is set as your new home page.
  • Pop-up advertising windows display when the browser is not open or over Web pages that do not normally have pop-ups.
  • Additional toolbars are added to the browser.
  • Web pages are automatically added to the list of favorites.
  • Desktop icons are automatically added to the desktop.
Be cautious when installing no-cost software. The cost of installing the software might be slower Internet connection times, annoying pop-up ads, or an increase in unwanted emails (spam).
Spyware, adware, and browser hijacking definitions
There are many types of software related to advertising and aggressive marketing. The types of advertising software vary, but are generally the following:
 note:
Click the topic or the accompanying plus (+) sign to expand the information.
Prevent and remove unwanted ads and marketing material
The following items can help you find unwanted adware and spyware, and prevent, remove, or disable them:

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Country: United States

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