Does some seedy web site appear every time you open your browser? Do pop up ads bombard your computer all hours of the day? Are spy-ware programs on your computer that will not go away? If so, read below to rid yourself of this annoying and most of all, hazardous problem. In this four part article, of which this article on Spy-ware is the first part, I will discuss what Spy-ware is, and how you can cleanse your computer of it. Generally, Spy-ware refers to software that executes tasks on your computer without requesting your consent. While the term suggests software that covertly monitors the user, it has come to refer more broadly to all software that sabotages your computer’s normal operation to profit outside individuals. But don’t confuse Spy-ware with hacking or cracking of your computer. It differs in that it showers you with unwanted advertising and the collection of your personal information, Spy-ware clearly immerges as a threat not only to your sanity but also may lead to identity theft. Shouldn’t your Anti-virus scans protect you against Spy-ware? Absolutely not, it is a totally different animal! Like many viruses, Spy-ware exploits infected computers for profit. However, Spy-ware varies from viruses and worms because it does not self-replicate. Typical tactics that Spy-ware employs are the delivery of unsolicited pop-up advertisements; theft of personal information (including financial information and credit card numbers); monitoring of Web-browsing activity for advertising purposes; or routing of HTTP to target advertisements for a tailored-to-fit exploitation of your web searches by advertising sites. But all of these threats and fears are extinguished with the download of one simple program—Windows Defender. To do so, follow the steps below:
Are you being stalked? Do you feel like you are being watched everytime you use your home computer? If you aren’t using Lavasoft Ad-Aware personal, you are. Spyware, Trojans, dialers, malware, browser hijackers, and tracking components could be stalking your PC at this very moment! Yet, there is relief: with Lavasoft Ad-Aware Personal, you may still have to fear who “knows what you did last summer,” but you don’t have to worry about an unprotected computer. If you remember, the first article in this series of defense programs for your computer’s security, I already discussed the benefits of using Windows Defender. So why should you use Lavasoft Ad-Aware as well? The reason is that Ad-Aware is filtering what Defender does not: tracking cookies and other Spyware components. No antispyware solution is 100% effective, and each targets different things. Therefore, make your computer like Fort Knox today with both Windows Defender and Lavasoft Ad-Aware! This program is compatible with Windows 98, Windows XP, Terminal Services, and much more. To download this freeware program, take a look below!
This opens the Preparing System Scan screen. Select Perform Full System scan and click Next.
After the scanning process, a detailed listing of detected items appears. Review each item before removing them. Remember that not everything detected by Ad-Aware should be removed; since this can be difficult, you can review the Threat Assessment Chart.
Then, right click the item to open the context menu
Select the Add selection to ignore list to add it to your ignore list.
Click the Next button on the “Scan Complete” screen to view the scanning results.
Select each item you wish to remove by selecting them in the scan results lists.
You can also right click to select multiple items with the context menu.
To ensure you remove all of the bad items, click on the Critical Objects tab.
Right click on any one of the items listed and click Select All Objects.
Click Next and finally click OK in the pop-up window to confirm removal of the item(s).
One final note, in this free-ware edition of Lavasoft SE Personal, the option for scheduled scans of your PC have been disabled. Therefore, unlike Windows Defender and CCleaner, you will need to manually run this scan monthly.
Select the Search and Destroy icon in the left pane.
Click the Check for Problems button.
Click Fix selected problems.
Click Yes after you have reviewed the problematic items, and then click OK
By Selecting the Immunize icon in the left pane, you can setup criteria so that most of the known spyware currently infecting PCs on the Internet will not infect Internet Explorer if you use it. To immunize your PC do the following:
Click the immunize icon in the left pane.
Click the Immunize button.
Click Enable permanent block of bad addresses in Internet Explorer or preference certain criteria with the dropdown menu.
It’s that time again! The time has come for you to update your AVG anti-virus software to ensure your computer’s continued protection. Already, AVG might have prompted you with a message which tells you that a new version exists and that it is now time to update. It should look like the picture below.
Whether or not you have received this message, the AVG update procedure is extremely quick and easy, just look below to find out how.
Click the download file entitled: avg75free_xxxxxx.exe.
Click the Save File button.
Once the file has been downloaded, the install program should open automatically. If not, click on the program on the desktop.
Work through the AVG install wizard.
Select the Add or remove components in the Select Setup Type window.
Continue through the Setup and lastly clicking Finish.
Now that you have completed your AVG upgrade, you can run or schedule tests that will guard your computer from viruses and spyware. To discover how to run an AVG test, just click on the following link: Get The Scoop on Viruses With Help From AVG
“If you remember one thing, remember this…” We have all heard this statement, and most of the time if you are like me, whatever that one thing is was forgotten! Fear no more! Since we have covered so many techie tips and tricks, I want to give a recap of four important programs that will ensure the safety of your personal information and the security of your computer. Over the past year, you have read through articles that focus on Ad-aware, CCleaner, AVG, and Spybot. If you have not installed these programs, then look below and use each link to discover how. Otherwise, if you have already installed these four programs, make sure to update the programs, which are also detailed in the article links below.
When running these anti-spyware and anti-viral programs, the greatest success results occur when they are run in Windows’s Safe Mode. At times, if run in Safe Mode, these four programs are seventy percent more likely to find and remove malicious content on your computer. To boot to safe mode, do the following:
Turn off your computer, and then wait thirty seconds before turning your computer back on.
As soon as you turn the computer back on, you will see your BIOS screen. Mine looks like this:
When you see your BIOS screen, start pressing your F8 key every few seconds until you reach the options page where you can select Safe Mode. The screen is shown below.
Use your arrow keys to select the Safe Mode option, and then press enter.
You may be asked to pick the copy of Windows you want to enter. You should just be able to press the Enter key to get past this screen.
You will now see a bunch of files loading before Safe Mode initializes.
Once it has booted you into safe mode, log into your PC and run the tools listed above to ensure the spyware on your PC is removed.
Run each program in Safe Mode just like you would in the traditional XP boot process. For a walkthrough of each of the four programs, please refer to the above links.