Windows 7 / Security and Privacy

How to Determine Whether a Computer Is Infected with Spyware

Several signs indicate whether a computer is infected with spyware. You should train users in your environment to notice these changes and call your Support Center if they suspect a malware infection:

  • A new, unexpected application appears.
  • Unexpected icons appear in the system tray.
  • Unexpected notifications appear near the system tray.
  • The Web browser home page, default search engine, or favorites change.
  • The mouse pointer changes.
  • New toolbars appear, especially in Web browsers.
  • The Web browser displays additional advertisements when visiting a Web page, or pop-up advertisements appear when the user is not using the Web.
  • When the user attempts to visit a Web page, she is redirected to a completely different Web page.
  • The computer runs more slowly than usual. This can be caused by many different problems, but spyware is one of the most common causes.

Some spyware might not have any noticeable symptoms, but it still might compromise private information. For best results, run Windows Defender real-time protection with daily quick scans.

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