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Each day you use your home computer, tablet, or smartphone, you risk the chance of installing viruses, malware, spyware, or Trojans on your devices. Therefore, it's necessary to protect your devices with antivirus and spyware programs.
Is your computer running slowly or having a slew of pop-up ads popping up all the time, even when you're not on-line? It is probably infected with spyware or adware. These are programs that one can pick up in the course of surfing the web and downloading programs. Spyware spies on your computer use and reports back to its programmer and adware plasters ads on your screen. If you're having these problems there are three FREE programs you can use to clean off your system.
1) Spybot S&D at http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
2) Ad-Aware at http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/
3) a beta (test program) at Microsoft http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx .
The Microsoft program will only work if you have a legal copy of Win 2000 or XP.
Each program catches things the others don't, so it's best to get all three. (It's free, after all!) If you keep them updated and scan your system regularly, you'll find that your computer runs much faster.
(I don't work for any of these companies, but I am a Librarian. We use these programs on our computers regularly and they really help keep our computers functioning.)
By Kathleen K.
I have another program called Spyware Blaster which is free as well. When I do an upgrade to my Spybot and then do an immunize, it tells me that I have the Spyware Blaster and that it provides more protection against Active X controls. I use both programs and update on a weekly basis.
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After I installed Spybot Search and Destroy I was not able to log into my bank account and a couple other sites. The software was very confusing to me. I could probably figure out how to use it in time, but I had to uninstall it in order to get into my bank account. Can someone tell me what the problem was and how I may fix it if I choose to reinstall it? Where can I find instructions on how to use the software? When I ran a scan it shows all kinds of problems, but I had no idea how to fix them. I'm not all that tech savvy. Thanks.
By weinerdog41 from Ft. Worth, TX
I don't actually like spybot at all..I like malwarebytes, and avast.
I would go into the programs and delete the spybot program and replace it with malwarebytes.com and avast.com. That should fix the bank log in thing.
Is there free anti-spyware and anti-virus software I can download?
Here's my favorite, recommended by a computer repairman:
Free antivirus software providing desktop security and data protection. avast! detects and removes all forms of malware, including spyware, rootkits and trojans. Free for home users.
»Free software for home use only
»Resident shield and self-protection
»Free automatic updates »Web and P2P protection
»Anti-spyware & anti-rootkit tool
BEWARE! Although there are many that are good, there are MORE that are truly BAD and incompatible with many versions of Windows. Be very careful, aware that if your ISP doesn't like whatever you download, they can cause your computer to freeze, slow down, crash, as happened to me several years ago. Surely they have improved, but AVG seems to be reliable and liked by a LOT of folks. God bless. : )
www.cnet.com has hundreds of free applications as well as reviews and comparisons of applications.
The anti-virus programs I like most from there are AVG and Spybot Search and Destroy.
Even if you ultimately get your antivirus program elsewhere, I still suggest checking out CNet's freeware section -- there's a lot of great freeware there you may want to make yourself aware of. When you get to the home CNet page, click on "downloads" from the list on the left side of the page --- A new list will appear on the left and at the very bottom it will read "top freeware." Click on that and it will take you to the freeware page where free applications like utilities, games, screensavers, educational software are all listed by category. Good luck
Spybot Search & Destroy is one of the safest and most thorough spyware detector/removers out there worldwide! It's free and is not shareware which is something that's really important, to me anyway ;-) It's easy to download and updates are available every Wednesday! A hint when doing a weekly scan: Close all open windows and the scan will work much faster ;-) I've been using it for about five years now and am completely satisfied! Click on the link below to read all about it and you can download it from there :-)
For anti-virus I am more than happy to pay for McAfee (which is only about $30.00 or $40.00 a year) because I never have to worry and nothing ever 'sneaks in' but I have a few friends who use AVG which is free if you simply can't afford to pay for virus protection: http://free.avg.com/
AVG is good. Be sure and stay with reputable companies. Above all, DO NOT download and pay for Extra Antivirus. It in itself IS a virus.
Another good one I learned about is Panda Cloud. Google it, it is an interesting concept and seems to be well recommended by many tech people.
We had AVG, Spybot Search and Destroy (be sure and get it, not just the Spybot which is not free - you need Spybot Search and Destroy). and AdAware, and a virus still got past us this last week.
I learned that when a pop-up comes up saying you have a virus and you need their program, you don't just "x" out of it. That is what installed the virus. I learned that the best way when a pop-up comes up like that, immediately don't do anything. Leave the page up, don't click on anything. Immediately unplug your modem, and do an "alt-control-delete" to get to the task manager or an "alt F4" and close out the pages that way. We actually got the virus by clicking on the X at the top right hand of the page thinking we were closing the page. In reality it installed the virus and I'm pretty sure it was the "Extra Antivirus." Even the computer geeks we took our computer to can't seem to get rid of it. We've got to reformat the hard drive and reinstall windows. Which of course means we've got to reinstall our printer, our modem, all our programs, etc. A real hassle.
I also went to download.com and chose AVG a couple of years ago it was great now I am using avast as well just to make sure. They both work great and best of all they are free.
My anti-spyware (TrendMicro) is no longer made as a stand alone. So now I have to go shopping. Any suggestions?
AVG was suggested as a good one, just the free part, but I am wondering if this is not a good idea because it obviously does not have all of the features.
I previously had McAfee, but trying to get it off my computer was a hassle and a half. Not only did I use the uninstall program button, I also had to hunt down certain information and delete it in the hard drive before I could get my computer to work. Phew! Never again!
My daughter uses my computer and after one of her visits, it always has spyware.
Holly from Richardson, TX
My college age son had to have his computer repaired last summer. The repair people suggested having both SpyBot and AVG free version. They said that is all you really need. I had Norton and got rid of it. I had nothing but problems galore with my computer with the Norton installed. Computer repair person said that Norton is known for problems. I have since gotten rid of Norton. I have AVG free version and StopZilla. My computer runs like a dream.
Spyzooka, no contest, it is brilliant.
If you haven't already checked out Kaspersky Anti-Virus, do so. After reading excellent reviews from experts and users, I bought it last year for three computers--in different homes. Each user has reported 100% satisfaction.
It's offered as a stand-alone or with complete internet security pack.
A computer can only have 1 anti-virus at a time. We get ours for free from our internet provider (SBC Global.net). Although they have a free anti-spyware, I am thoroughly unimpressed with it.
Spybot and AdAware.
I have Trend Micro just renewed it for 2 years and it is all by itself. I also use AVG free Virus. As well as Registery Smart which I did have to pay for
My computer is a magnet for spyware and adware. Frankly, I wouldn't mind it if it wasn't slowing down my computer and locking it up. This is not a symbiotic relationship.
I run and update (every few days) Microsoft's Beta for Spyware, Ad-Aware and SBC Yahoo anti spyware. Spyware Blaster is running in the background. I discontinued Spybot Search because it kept hanging up my computer, although it was very effective for a long time prior to that at finding spyware and adware.
Seems to be a case of locking the barn door after the horse is out. I'd rather stop the spyware than have to go looking for it to clean it up and out after the fact.
I have the cookies set at 'ask for permission', the third party cookies rejected, medium security for internet sites, the pop-up blocker on and I don't really know what else to do. Help!
Wow! With all of that spyware/adware stuff running are you certain that the problem is still spyware? There are lots of things that can cause a system to slow down. Even if it is still Spyware you may be able to start running Spybot again if you clean up your system and hopefully eradicate the conflict that is causing Spybot to crash.
First, I would go and run Trend Micro's Housecall -- it's a free, online virus scanner. I just did it and it found 8 issues that everything else had missed.
There are a bunch of other free programs that I use to keep my computers clean - Regcleaner, Ccleaner, BigFix and Diskeeper Lite (to name a few that I can think of - I'm not at my own computer at the moment). You can find any ot those by doing a quick Google search.
You also need to occasionally run scandisk (chkdsk on Win XP) and defrag your hard drives (Diskeeper Lite does that better than window's built-in utility - I also like Norton Systemworks if you have it, but stopped using it due to problems with tech support).
Do a Google search for "computer maintenance" (including the quotation marks) and dig around for further info.
The following site has good info on preventing spyware and adware. It essentially comes down to taking care with what you download and install and even the sites you surf to.
It sounds like there is something running in the background on your computer. Hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete and look at your task manager. If there is a large memory usage, then you have something running you probably do not know about. There is a processes tab to tell you what it is. Spyware sometimes secretly installs on your computer and hides. The spyware remover finds the program but not the installer.
I used to have that problem too. I also use CrapCleaner(free), windows cleanup exe(free) and a wonderful spyware program called Spyware Killer Pro. I bought it at Meijers for under 30.00, but you can go to their website--www.cosmi.com It found 3600 spyware programs on my daughters computer. It is easy to use and beats all the other spyware programs I have tried. It also has an anonymous surfing program, free product updates, junk file cleaner, and start up cleaner and uninstall programs. I hope this is useful--I wouldn't ever be without my spyware pro again--both my puter and my daughters' runs like new.
Does anyone have an anti-spyware program they recommend? Something that stops it from being down loaded? Every day I have to run the anti-spyware scan to stop my computer from running slow as molasses when on the internet. It's downright annoying. Holly
You may want to try some of the things in this article:
Otherwise, you can do searches online to forums for assistance from other geeks as well.
Do you have a firewall installed? if not thats the first point to look at, If you are running windows XP it ships with a firewall which may or may not be activated. If you are running an older version of windows, then i would suggest Zonelabs (www.zonelabs.com) for their free firewall.
Secondly you need a good antivirus software package, i use norton antivirus (cheapest place ot buy is online auctions) but there are free packages out there.
Adaware has a free spyware package, but again if you are running XP microsoft has a beta (trial version) of there spyware protection package available free from their website