The best way to get rid of spyware is not to get it in the first place. To avoid getting spyware on your computer, beware of certain kinds of sites. Peer to peer (P2P) is almost a guarantee for getting spyware. You think you're downloading your favorite band's new song, but you don't know what is attached to that. Porn sites are loaded with spyware and adware; beware of what you're viewing and what you're getting because of it.
Certain browsers are more susceptible to spyware than others. Because internet explorer (IE) is the most used internet browser, it is the most targeted for spyware. Vulnerabilities and unpatched security holes can allow spyware to infiltrate your system without your knowledge. Use Firefox instead as it is more secure and has plug-ins designed to eliminate spyware sneaking in.
Email is another way to leave your system open to spyware. Double check who the sender is and never click on open attachments. If it looks like spam, don't bother opening it. If you open some spyware it might send it to your whole address book so make sure to check your emails before opening them.
Beware of the free software you're downloading. A comment trick spyware distributors use is linking it with free software. Never download anything unless you need it and know the source is good and well trusted.
A lot of spyware programs are offered using annoying pop-ups that end up in your face. Take the time to download a pop-up blocker and rid yourself of both the annoyance and the possible danger.
Once you have spyware, your computer will be much slower. Spyware uses hard drive space to run on so a slow computer is often a sign that you have spyware. If you're having lots of annoying pop-ups (more than usual), you may have a problem with spyware. If strange new sites come up in your favorites or your default settings are changed, that is a clear warning. If you have any of these symptoms or several of them, you should definitely be wary of a spyware problem.
Get spyware software from a trusted site and scan your computer every couple weeks. Some programs work by blocking the spyware from installing on your computer. Others work by scanning your computer every day, week, or month and erasing the spyware already installed. Whichever method you choose, still use precautions while surfing the net to avoid spyware altogether.