Adware and Spyware

Adware is unwanted software designed to push advertisements up on your screen, most often within a web browser.

Spyware on the other hand are programs that harvest information from your device. This can include browsing habits and even key strokes. Often this information is passed on to third parties without you knowing. 

One emerging threat from spyware is the information harvested from the computer can be used in other types of attacks that require a level of social engineering, such as targeted phishing and Denial of Service attacks. 


Common Symptoms of Spyware

If your device is experiencing any of the following symptoms, you might have spyware:

  • Degraded performance
  • Random advertisements that pop up on your computer
  • Odd behaviour in Internet Explorer or other browsers, such as re-direction to search sites that you've never seen, or your homepage has been switched to a different page.


How is Adware, Spyware, Malware & Ransomware installed on your device

These can be introduced to a computer by several means for example:

  • Connecting an infected external drive to your machine (USB memory stick or external hard drive)
  • Downloading an infected file from the Internet
  • Clicking on a link supplied in a phishing email
  • Downloading and opening an infected email attachment.


How to remove Spyware

Anti-virus software is designed primarily to prevent infection, but also includes the ability to remove malware from an infected computer. All UL-owned devices should be running the University’s approved anti-virus software which is Kaspersky. Please visit our Kaspersky webpage for information on how to install Kaspersky and how to keep your Kaspersky up to date

Install Kaspersky

The first step in removing Spyware from your computer is to run a full scan using the Kaspersky anti-virus software.

ITD recommends the following spyware detection and removal program:

Kaspersky Removal Tool - "Instructions to download and install Kaspersky Removal Tool

Additional malware-removal tools are necessary because malware can hide itself, then re-emerge, re-propagate and re-infect, even if an identified virus file is flagged and removed by the anti-virus application.