Rogue Desktop Icons Created By Spyware
By Andrew Malek.
If you have used a Windows machine for a while, whether it's Windows XP, Windows
2000, or Windows 98, you're sure to have noticed desktop icons appearing from
out of nowhere. How can icons mysteriously emerge on your Windows desktop?
When you buy a computer, many vendors place icons to selected products and services
on your desktop, such as links to high-speed Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
or add-on services vendors think you may need.
As you install software on your Windows machine, icons may appear, either to start
the application or link to the manufacturer's website. Installing just one program
could add three or more icons to your desktop!
It's easy to accidentally drag a Favorite, bookmark, text file, or other icon
to your desktop, creating an icon.
it's easy to delete Windows desktop icons. Just place your mouse pointer on the
offending icon, then right-click it and choose "Delete", clicking "Yes" to confirm
what if the rogue icons are for adult websites, unfamiliar search engines, or
other websites you don't recall visiting? You may try removing these icons but
get an error, or after removal they still reappear again and again and again!
If so, then more
than likely spyware, adware, or other malware has infected your machine. It may
have been through file trading software, an inadvertent "yes" click when a popup
window asked you to install software, 'freeware' that included adware, or other
means. To remove the rogue icons, you need to remove the malware creating these
spyware and adware can be a time-consuming process, fraught with potential disaster
as it is possible to accidentally remove files that render your operating system
unusable. However, the following software products can help with this process
as long as you read the instructions carefully, make backups, and get expert advice
if you're not completely sure about removing what they ask you to do:
Search and Destroy
how can you prevent these icons from appearing in the first place? Practice safe
your machine. If it does get infected to the point of being unusable, at least
you won't lose all your important files.
security-related operating system updates so spyware and adware cannot enter your
system through well-known exploits.
or buy a virus scanner, and keep it updated! Virus scanners cannot detect all
spyware, but it doesn't hurt to have one. Check online or visit your local computer
a hardware or software firewall, and keep it updated! Firewalls help protect your
computer from common exploits that spyware or adware can use to infect your machine.
a different web browser. Though it is not perfect, Mozilla Firefox is currently
less susceptible to spyware than Internet Explorer, mainly because it lacks certain
technology (such as ActiveX) that is often exploited by malware writers. Note
that depending on your web use, certain websites may not work correctly with other
practicing safe computing and using spyware-removal software, you can help remove
rogue desktop icons from your desktop and keep others from appearing.