Personal computing security center

Fight spyware threats

HP has identified specific threats which may affect your computer. The information provided will assist you with removing and reducing these threats.

HP partners with Symantec to provide Norton Internet Security 2006 for the detection and removal of Adware and Spyware from your computer.
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How does spyware affect your PC?

Spyware is any software that gathers and transmits information without one's knowledge. Spyware programs usually track information about the Web sites visited, browser and system information, and your computer IP address (the number that represents a network device on the Internet).
Learn simple but effective ways to enjoy the internet with out the hassles of unwanted advertising or intruders.


Protect yourself from spam and spyware


The following symptoms are common to computers that have been affected by spyware or adware:


Your computer is suddenly slower than usual or low on memory and resources

A sudden change in how your computer is running could be a sign of spyware or adware.
It may take a much longer time to start your computer or to resume your computer from hibernation.


Note: There is a variety of reasons why your computer may run slower than usual. Each individual person is most familiar with the different wait times and pauses on the computer they use.


Use the following information to improve the system resources and performance of your PC.

  Improving the Performance of Your Notebook PC

HP Desktop PCs - Increasing System Resources and Performance Without Adding Memory  

Pop-Up ads appear even when you are not online

Pop-up ads from spyware software are designed to look like they've been served up by the legitimate Web site you're visiting. As a result, you may not recognize them as a symptom of infection. There's no way to be sure, but if the contents of the ads seem strange, or if you're getting pop-up ads when you're not even surfing the Internet, it's very likely that they are being served up by spyware software.


Your computer behaves unexpectedly

Some spyware or trojans may cause CD drives to open and shut, or programs to open and close unexpectedly.
Your hard drive may continually make a working noise even when you aren’t using the computer.
Software or programs may not start when you expect them to start.
There may be an unknown icon in your System Tray, on your desktop or in your Start Menu.
Components of Microsoft Windows or other applications may no longer work as they normally do.


Settings in your web browser may change

When you start your computer, or when your computer has been idle for many minutes, your Internet browser opens to display Web site advertisements.
When you use your browser to view Web sites, other instances of your browser open to display Web site advertisements.
Your Web browser's home page unexpectedly changes.
Web pages are unexpectedly added to your Favorites folder.
New toolbars are unexpectedly added to your Web browser.
Your Web browser suddenly closes or stops responding.
Performing a search from a search page provides results on a different site.
The default search engine in your browser unexpectedly changes.


You receive unusual returned e-mail

Many users infected with spyware or trojans report receiving a lot of returned email or see evidence of e-mails being sent without their knowledge.
Spamware is a variety of trojans that can turn your computer into a sender of spam or even viruses.
Emails may be sent to addresses in your address book or to addresses that you have never seen before.


You notice unexpected bills or changes to accounts

User names and passwords to e-mail and Web-based applications are vulnerable to keyboard loggers. If the bank, brokerage or credit card accounts that you access online appear to have been tampered with, your computer could be infected with malicious spyware.
If your phone bill charges you for 1-900 phone calls that you didn't make, your PC may be infected with a form of spyware called a dialer. These programs will hang-up your normal Internet connection and instruct your computer to dial a 1-900 number without you noticing.


Report malicious spyware

Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC’s) web site to learn more about the US government’s response to spyware and to file a complaint about specific spyware.

  FTC: Monitoring software on your PC  

New! OnGuard Online provides practical tips from the federal government and the technology industry to help you be on guard against Internet fraud, secure your computer, and protect your personal information.

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