What you need to know about spyware prevention and spyware removal: Internet ScamBusters #102
Today's issue is about spyware removal. Since today's spyware removal article continues from last week's issue on spyware, we recommend you read that article first if you haven't yet.
And, you probably also want to check out this article on adware if you missed it last week.
Remember: according to a recent study, 80% of all PC users are infected by spyware and/or adware, and the majority don't even know it. So, today's spyware removal issue is very important to most subscribers.
As we started working on this spyware removal issue, we wound up writing four articles instead of just one. So, we'll share a bit from each article with you in this issue, and then provide links to each of these spyware removal articles so you can read the entire article (they're all fairly short).
First, a quick update on another scam topic. A big phishing scam that is going around right now is supposedly from SunTrust Bank. The names of lots of smaller banks are also being used in these phishing scams. Click here to learn more about phishing scams.
Time to get started...
Spyware Prevention and Removal: A Summary
If you'd like the punchline about spyware removal before we give you the details, here are our findings and recommendations:
- Spyware and adware are difficult to find and remove -- even for the best dedicated anti-spyware programs.
- Prevention is much better than finding and removing spyware. In the articles below, we suggest good habits for preventing the installation of spyware on your computer.
- No single spyware tool catches all spyware. In a recent study, the best spyware removal tool missed 25% of the 'critical' files and Registry entries.
- You need to use more than one spyware removal tool.
- No combination of free spyware removal tools we've seen will find and remove all spyware. Spyware removal software is like virus protection software in that it needs to be updated very frequently. Free tools just don't keep up.
- If you only want a free solution, run AdAware along with an older version of Spybot. The most recent versions of Spybot have some important problems, and did not do well in finding and removing spyware in recent tests.
- One good solution, if you are willing to buy a license, is Spysweeper. Run this along with AdAware (either the free or paid version). Other good solutions include Pest Patrol and Giant AntiSpyware.
- Use FireFox rather than Internet Explorer as your browser. We've written about this in past issues of Internet ScamBusters. For example, visit this page on why we recommend FireFox over Internet Explorer.
- At this time, Mac users don't need to worry much about spyware. See our note at the bottom of this issue.
For more about spyware and spyware removal, read the snippets below, and also visit the Internet ScamBusters Anti Spyware Resource Center:
Spyware Removal Software: Spybot Search and Destroy
Spybot Search and Destroy is one of the most popular free spyware removal utilities on the market. Both Spybot S&D, as well as AdAware, are considered reputable free programs by most cyber security specialists who recommend free programs.
However, are these well-intended free spyware removal utilities truly effective against all forms of spyware? To find out our answer about spybot, click here.
Spyware Removal Software: Lavasoft's AdAware
Almost everyone who's ever tried to get rid of spyware is familiar with AdAware. In fact, Lavasoft's free AdAware tool is one of the other most popular anti-spyware utilities on the market.
Popular belief is that by combining AdAware with Spybot Search and Destroy, you are sure to have complete protection against all forms of spyware threats.
To find out if this is true -- and if it's worth investing in the paid version of AdAware software -- click here.
Spyware Removal Software: Free Spyware Removal
Free spyware removal tools are becoming increasingly popular. There are many vendors offering either free scans, a free trial version of paid anti-spyware software, or free spyware detection and removal software without any restraints.
Some of these free spyware removal programs are very good. However, others may be wolves hidden within lambs' clothing.
Are there any downfalls secretly hidden within free spyware removal and detection tools?
Click here to find out what these downfalls of free spyware removal are.
Spysweeper Eliminates Spyware
Spysweeper is on the leading edge of consumer spyware removal software. The question, when it comes to Spysweeper, is whether or not it has all the necessary ingredients to solve your problems.
It is just as important to be able to prevent spyware from reaching your computer as it is to zap it once it gets there, and Spysweeper can do all of this for you.
Spysweeper is not free though, so if you're looking for a free solution, Spysweeper is not for you. For more info on Spysweeper, visit now.
Before we close, we wanted to briefly answer the most frequent spyware removal question we received after last week's issue: what about spyware removal on the Macintosh?
We will provide a more complete answer to this question in the future. However, here's a brief answer for now: Mac users don't currently have much to worry about in terms of spyware. So for now, spyware removal is not a big issue on the Mac.
Here's a discussion on the topic of spyware removal for the Mac:
That's it for today. For all our US subscribers, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.