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Mar 18 2009

Handling and Removing Spyware


malware Handling and Removing SpywareSpyware is right up there with viruses, malicious actions and just plain evil people. And it’s really hard to tell the two apart…

These things are just the scum of the Earth and they serve no purpose at all, but to muck up your daily routine, take your data and irritate you to no end.

Once the Spyware has been installed on your PC it can be difficult to remove and not only that, it’s going to be completely annoying, it’ll probably slow down your browsing or it could keep you from doing anything on your PC.

P r o t e c t i n g   Y o u r s e l f

First, you need to understand the Spyware scan needs to be done on your system at least once a week, preferably one that’s automatic [just run it, it auto updates and make changes, all without you].

Second, watch where your going. Don’t visit sites purposely that seem to be a bit under the radar; they’re there for a reason.

Third, when downloading or installing applications from websites, ALWAYS read what they require. Don’t install the toolbars, the extra applications or agree to get advertisements to your phone. Read what the program wants to do as part of the installation; ANY thing you don’t like- cancel the installation.

Spyware software, there’s a lot to choose from, but I personally only work with a few software packages and maybe you can benefit from them as well.

image thumb14 Handling and Removing Spyware Since  your going to most likely going to be working with an infected PC, do this from another machine, where possible AND if you’ve a portable drive [jumpdrive], use that too. The reason is you don’t want your tools to be dirty before you start working. BUT once your ready, let keep going.

Notice: Having malware on your system can be difficult and involved. These tools here can help you, if you know how to use them. While I want to provide this for your benefit, I assume no responsibility for problems or any other issues that are presented from using these programs or information I’ve provided here. Basically, swim at your own risk and if you’re that bad, perhaps it’s better you take it to a shop anyway.

The items listed below are free and portable. Since I’m big fan of both, these are the ones I’ll work with. I think if your reading this, you’ve got enough problems to deal with.

S c a n n i n g   f o r   S p y w a r e

You need to have a program to scan your system for spyware, how else you gonna find it and if you already have one, it doesn’t hurt to have another one to just cross check. One might find one the other won’t.

sb thumb Handling and Removing SpywareSpybot – Search and Destroy
This is a free program, well respected over the Internet. It’s compact, fast, auto-updates and does it’s job.

There’s also a TEATIMER application; it watches changes to the registry and your start-up folder. I recommend using this during the de-bugging process. As you kill services or uninstall applications, they may try to reinstall themselves and TEATIMER will warn you and BLOCK the applications from doing anything.

It can be scheduled:
C:Program FilesSpybot – Search & DestroySpybotSD.exe /autoupdate /autocheck /autoclose

C l e a n i n g   o u t   t h e   S t a r t – u p    P r o g r a m s

A majority of the issues are going to be stemming from your start-up programs [programs that start automatically when the PC boots]. The start-up menu is a breeding ground for trouble. The goal is to infect your system and keep infecting it so it never goes away. The way to keep it there is to keep infecting you each time you reboot.

image thumb15 Handling and Removing Spyware AUTORUNS


As mentioned, Spyware will attach it’s self to the system start-up folder and in the registry.

If you’ve enough knowledge of your system, you should be able to understand the processes listed and then if you don’t recognize them, you can disable them.

The entries are not removed; just disabled. This allows you to basically weed out programs/processes that don’t belong.

Besides the start-up’s, AUTORUNS gives you alot more options and information.

Reference

A n t i – V i r u s   P r o g r a m s / P r o t e c t i o n

Anti-virus is really a necessity nowadays. PC’s should never be connect to a network without something; some form of anti-virus protection loaded. And while 90% of the software packages for anti-virus on the market is real-time, this doesn’t mean your 100% safe- never will.

And like scanning for Spyware, scanning with a separate anti-virus program occasionally will help you keep piece of mind. Weekly, monthly or quarterly is well enough.

image thumb16 Handling and Removing Spyware CLAMAV [portableapps]
ClamAV is NOT real-time scanning. It’s a on-demand anti-virus scanner. It’s perfect for a second line of defense or trying to weed out viruses that may have already compromised the existing anti-virus software.

The interface is super easy to use. Once it’s started, press the scan button at the bottom.

If you’ve Internet access, it’ll auto update itself.

For a more regular and real-time scanning solution:

AVAST! [Free for personal use]*

AVG [Free for personal use]

Service patches and updates; make sure you download and apply these on a regular basis.

Hope this helps.

I’ll update this page if/when I find more tools or information.

Thanks for reading.

Enjoy.


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