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Cleaning up after spyware

If you've happened to notice that you've gotten hit by spyware, the first step is cleaning the mess... If you haven't noticed it yet, there may be something hidden on your system that you don't know of yet...

Well good news... I'm here to tell you all about two FREE utilities that have been heavily tested...

The first is my favorite, every PC in my house has it installed, even client machines that come into my office get it installed for a quick scan...

SpyBot Search and Destroy - Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm giving it a try to see if something has invaded your computer.

The second tool is created by Microsoft, I know some of you will snare, but it does the job nicely although no where as fast as Spybot. One crevate you may have is that it utilizes the WGA to ensure your copy of windows is genuine; this check often goes haywire on LEGIT systems.

Windows Defender - Windows Defender is software that helps protect your computer against pop-ups, slow performance, and security threats caused by spyware and other unwanted software by detecting and removing known spyware from your computer. Windows Defender features Real-Time Protection, a monitoring system that recommends actions against spyware when it's detected, minimizes interruptions, and helps you stay productive.

Now, both are really good programs, Defender runs at all times, but Spybot has several features which come in handy as well, such as TeaTimer (which is a program which monitors changes to your registry and allows you to approve or deny them as they're added).

Myself, I use them both.
Posted on July 18th, 2008 · Updated on December 31st, 2010
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