Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Spyware

Spyware is different from viruses, worms and Trojan horses. You must protect your PC against both.

UPDATE 8/26/05: Some users have posted their recommendations in the form of comments below. While some or all of these may be perfectly fine, the Help Desk gang (the Dukes of URL) has NOT reviewed these products and cannot certify them as acceptable. Some insidious spyware actually masquerades as anti-spyware tools. Frankly, the language on some of the web pages recommended by our commentators below is a little suspect. Caveal emptor ("let the buyer beware"). We stand by our recommendations to use AdAware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Microsoft's anti-spyware tool (now called Windows Defender) and urge caution on anything else.

Spyware is software that either takes control of your screen and presents you with unwanted pop-up ads, or more sinisterly, spies on your computer activity without your knowledge. At this point, it appears to be a problem only for PCs, but there is no guarantee that Macs will not be affected in the future.

To combat spyware:

--We recommend 3 programs. Each appears to catch different problems, and there is no difficulty with running all 3:

(1) Spybot Search and Destroy (find in download.com).

(2) Ad-Aware by Lavasoft

(3) Microsoft's AntiSpyware, now in beta

For all 3 programs:

--Run in Safe Mode (at startup, repeatedly press the F8 key until it asks if you want to boot into Safe Mode).

--Use the most current version

--Run regular updates of definitions -- daily is not too often, sad to say.

--Windows XP users should find that installing Service Pack 2 may help.

--Consider using a browser other than Internet Explorer, which is a frequent conduit for malicious software. We recommend Mozilla's FireFox browser as an alternative.

5 comments:

jurgita said...

In adition I'd like to recommend:

www.kephyr.com - provides free spyware detection tool called bazooka. With its help you can remove parasites manually.
www.2-spyware.com - provides manual
and automatic removal of spyware, adware, worms, dialers, hijackers and other
parasites.

Anonymous said...

another spyware removal website

Anonymous said...

Personally, I prefer www.spywaredb.com spyware resource, it contains most up to date spyware removal instructions.

Liz in Savannah said...

Dukes,

I've been running Firefox for a long time, and never have seen any use to running the commercial (read purchased) anti-spyware packages on it. (Last year I ran Spydoctor, and this year I had Webroot Spy Sweeper. They NEVER find anything. I don't use Norton, which purports to interact with Firefox, because of all the conflicts it has caused in the past on my computers.)

Is there an anti-spyware program other than Norton that says it interacts with Firefox? If not, perhaps I'm just good to go with the freeware ones you've recommended, and can stop paying for anti-spyware programs altogether?

Thanks! Happy New Year!


----

P.S. I don't quite understand the Choose an Identity function below, so hope what I've chosen flies....

Anonymous said...

recently i have used Spyware-Techie for removing the newer parasites. I used smitfraudfix in safe mode and worked great. no issues for the past 3 weeks.