TOPIC: Spyware / Malware Stoppers
I don't care to sell advertising on the Soap Bocks, BUT I may mention a super-fine product from time to time. Since SPAM & spyware have been the theme for the past couple of posts, it's time to tell you about four excellent products that help kill those nasty adware, spyware or any other malware programs left behind by web browsing -- and sometimes SPAM.
First is Spybot Search & Destroy. If you use the Internet (and you do or you wouldn't be here), you need to download, install and correctly configure Spybot Search & Destroy. The current version is v1.3. Find it at Safer Networking.org Go ahead and get it now. I'll wait... ... ... ... Got it? OK, good. Now, when you install Spybot, make sure you allow Spybot to run the update; set up the IEHelper (if you use MS Internet Explorer) AND Immunize your system. These three steps alone will save you hours of anguish in the area of malware. REMINDER: Run Spybot EVERY time you get off the Net. Check for Updates EVERY time you start Spybot.
Second program is Lavasoft's Ad-Aware. In tandem with Spybot, Ad-Aware will help you find and delete most malware on your PC. It will not find all of the trojan horse programs, but it is a great program just the same. The current version is Build 6.x. Get Ad-Aware from Lavasoft.de. Again, I'll wait... ... OK, now make sure that you Check for Updates Now on Ad-Aware EVERY time you run it. You should also do a web search for Ad-Aware in-depth settings (the best thread is on Lockergnome.net). Make the necessary changes and do a deep scan first. Then, do smart scans EVERY time you exit the Internet... that means EVERY time. Got me!?!
Third on the super-fine list of anti-malware programs is Spyware Blaster. JavaCool's app kills ActiveX and Java scripts that install malware on your PC -- without you knowing it. The last time I checked, Spyware Blaster took care of nearly 2,000 "nasties". That is VERY impressive! As with the others, make sure to run the Update Tool EVERY time you use Spyware Blaster!
Lastly, is IESPYAD. IESPYAD is not a program, per se. It is really a batch file that loads HUNDREDS of known malware sites into your MSIE Restricted Zone settings. The computer science guy who wrote it says, "IESPYAD will stop 90% of the drive-by spyware installs you suffer while surfing the Net." If you don't surf porn (and you shouldn't given the moral issues, social problems & other known hindrances to a healthy life if you do), then make sure to use IESPYAD to install a few hundred porn sites into your MSIE Restricted Zone as well.
Putting these four programs together and using them as stated above, I have had less than 25 minor infections in a 10 week period. Prior to using these, the malware installs (including tracking cookies) was in the hundreds PER WEEK. Get 'em! Configure 'em! Update 'em! And, USE THEM. FYI - all four can be used free-of-charge (indefinitely), but you should donate to Spybot, buy Ad-aware Pro & Spyware Blaster. IESPYAD is always free. Enjoy! [Updated 7/29/04]