If your internet keeps trying to connect without you or a program that you’ve set up initiating it, the chances are that you’ve got an infection of spyware.
What is spyware?
Well, without going into too much detail, it’s stuff that you don’t want on your computer. For a detailed description of what spyware is and what it does, go to
Removal of spyware is, thankfully, fairly simple. I use two programs – Spybot – Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware. Both programs are free to download and use. (Spybot – Search and Destroy is not to be confused with the virus, w32 – spybot, which is a different issue altogether!)
Spybot – Search and Destroy can be downloaded from – http://www.safer-networking.org/
Ad-Aware is a free download from – http://www.lavasoftusa.com
After installation, get both programs up to date and then run them according to their instructions. Spybot will take you through a setup routine (including updates) to ensure that you are getting the most out of the program and it will also immunize your computer against future infections. You will also find that Spybot will find items that Ad-Aware doesn’t and vise versa.
So how did this spyware get onto my machine?
If you’ve been using Kazaa or other music downloading software such as Grokster, Morpheus etc then that’s where your spyware came from. These programs are also one of the sources of viruses nowadays so I’d recommend getting them off your computer as soon as possible.
Also, if you’ve downloaded any ‘useful’ toolbars such as ‘My Web Search’ and others, then that’s your source of spyware.
Unfortunately, it’s often us blokes that get caught too. Been looking at any ‘naughty’ web sites lately? Be careful what you click on. That free software will often include internet dialers that can dial their own unique number for internet access. These numbers work like a 0055 service. Any charges go straight onto your phone bill so if you’ve got a dialer on your computer be prepared for a very expensive fright!!
Finally, be wary of any pop-up ads that tell you that you have spyware on your machine. The software that they promote is often spyware itself! To be absolutely certain, only trust the programs that I’ve mentioned already – Spybot – Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware.