SPYWARE Removal & Prevention

Posted in Windows XP by Community Submission

There are 3 main programs you need to use to stay spyware/malware FREE. The following is a small tutorial on how to setup and use these 3 programs, they are Ad-aware, SpyBot Search & Destroy and SpywareBlaster.

How to setup and use Ad-aware

The first thing you need to do is download Ad-aware from HERE. Once you have downloaded and installed it you must update it and customize the scanning properties so that it scans more thorough.

Once it’s installed click on the icon on your desktop and open it to the main screen. You will need to be online to update it, so if you are using a 56K connection you must first connect to your ISP. Now click were it says “Check for updates now”, this will connect you to Lavasoft’s servers and update your definitions. This is the same as updating your antivirus definitions.

Now that everything is up to date you need to customize your scanning properties to get the best protection. In the main Ad-aware screen click on the gear icon at the top, this opens the settings options. Select the “tweak” button, click the + beside “Scanning Engine” and make sure “Unload recognized processes during scanning” is checked. Now click the + beside Cleaning Engine and make sure “Automatically try to unregister objects prior to deletion” is checked, now click the “Proceed” button, this will take you back to the main Ad-aware screen.

Now that you are at the main screen click the “Scan now” button, this will take you to a screen that says “Select scan mode:”, choose the option “Use custom scanning options” then click the "Customize" button and check "Scan within archives" and check everything listed under the "Memory and Registry" options, now click the “Select” option and check ALL of the drives that you want to scan, if your hard drive is partitioned or you have multiple drives make sure you check them ALL, then click “Proceed” then click “Next”.

Ad-aware should now be scanning ALL of your drives for any know spyware/malware in its database. Once it has finished scanning it will give you list of everything that it found, REMOVE ALL THAT IT FINDS. Place your cursor on the list of items it finds and right click with your mouse and choose “select all” then click “remove selected items”. This will remove all spyware/malware from your pc. If Ad-aware prompts you to scan on your next reboot you should do so, this may happen because some spyware/malware is in use during the scan and could not be removed properly, Ad-aware will then schedule a boot time scan and remove these items on your next reboot.

How to setup and use SpyBot Search & Destroy

The first thing you need to do is download SpyBot Search & Destroy from HERE. Once you have downloaded and installed it you must update it and customize the scanning properties so that it scans and protects more thorough.

I won’t explain how to update SpyBot during the install since it is self explanatory.

Once you have installed SpyBot you need to update it and use the “Immunize” feature to protect yourself from further spyware/malware infestation. Now that it is installed open SpyBot from the icon you placed on your desktop or from the start menu start – all programs – SpyBot – Search & Destroy. First we need to switch to advanced mode, to do so select “mode” from the toolbar and check “Advanced Mode”, it will ask if you want to switch modes, say “yes”. Now you have multiple tabs on the left of the screen, select the “settings” tab then click on the “Ignore products” icon. Under the first tab the first tab “All products” right click your mouse in the main screen and select “deselect all”.

Now go back to the “settings” tab again and click the “settings” icon. Scroll down to the “Web Update” section and check “Download updated include files if available online”. This will automatically update SpyBot when you open it.

Now click on the “tools” tab and click on the “IE Tweaks” icon. Make sure that you check “Lock Hosts file read-only as protection against hijackers”.

You can schedule SpyBot to automatically scan if you like, to do so go to the “settings” tab again and choose the “Scheduler” icon, once it opens choose “add” and you can schedule it to run at the time you choose.

Back to the main interface, click the SpyBot S&D tab, click the “Search for Updates” button, this will connect to SpyBots servers and alert you of any new updates, you should download ALL that it finds.

Now select the “Immunize” icon, click on the green + to immunize your system. This will help prevent any new spyware/malware infestation by blocking new items. THIS MUST BE REDONE AFTER EVERY UPDATE SO THAT YOU ARE PROTECTED AGAINST THE LATEST THREATS.

Time to scan your system, click the “Check for problems” button, this will scan your system for any know spyware/malware, REMOVE ALL THAT IT FINDS.

How to setup and use SpywareBlaster

The first thing you need to do is download and install SpywareBlaster, you can download it from HERE.

SpywareBlaster doesn’t remove any spyware/malware, it prevents it from installing in the first place. From the makers of SpywareBlaster:

Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted pests.
Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox.
Restrict the actions of potentially dangerous sites in Internet Explorer.

It is very simple to use and it’s FREE. First you need to download and install it, you can download it from HERE. Once you have installed it you need to update it and then set it to protect you from it’s database of spyware/malware.

To update it click on the icon it placed on your desktop, make sure you are connected to the internet and select “Updates”, then click the button “Check for Updates” this will immediately download any new updates to it’s database. Once they are finished downloading click “Protection” and under “Quick Tasks” click “Enable All Protection”, this sets all the new updates you just downloaded so that you are protected from them – THIS MUST BE DONE AFTER ANY NEW UPDATES.


Originally posted by mnosteele

Free Computer Magazines and eBooks