How do I check for spy programs on my computer?

Question

Is it possible someone put a spy program on my system?

I had someone visiting me several weeks ago. I let them check their e-mail from my computer. But, one day I noticed that they appeared to be doing something else.

Since then, whenever I viewt e-mail from them I get a message about "Active-x not able to open ..." or something to that effect (though I can read the e-mails that they send me).

Also, it seems immediately after I use the word processor - a mysterious file appears as an icon. It has the Windows word icon, but the file extension is a "~" . When I look at properties, it just says "file". And, I can't seem to open it to see what it contains.

This never happened before this person sat at my computer.

Answer

This question was answered on October 15, 2003. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

If you do a Google search for Spyware you can find many sites to download free spyware to check your computer.

Two of the best are Adaware and Spy-bot.

This could also be a virus of some type, please make sure your anti-virus is up to date

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Author

Posted by Susan of Mesa Community College on October 15, 2003