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Anti Virus/Malware, Spyware and Adware Blockers
The quantity and variety of computer threats increases daily. No single tool detects and removes every single threat out there. It is sometimes necessary to run several different tools (sometimes more than once). Here are some excellent tools for detecting and removing threats from your PC.
Please read all directions carefully before running any of these tools -- Any given software distribution can contain malware. Also, some malware poses as a Spyware removal tool! Be careful to download these tools from reputable download sites. It's also a good idea to scan the downloaded file(s) for malware (using a trusted tool that you already posess) before installing them.
Microsoft Security Essentials
Microsoft Security Essentials is built for individuals and small businesses, but it’s based on the same technology that Microsoft uses to protect giant businesses (security products like Microsoft Forefront, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender).
Good choice for computers running newer versions of Microsoft Windows.
Avira AntiVir PersonalEdition Classic reliably protects your private computer against dangerous viruses, worms, Trojans and costly dialers. It is an excellent alternative to similar products by Norton and McAffee. Try the free version from this veteran of the computer protection industry!
Spybot - Search & Destroy (PepiMK Software) detects and removes spyware, a relatively new kind of threat not yet covered by common anti-virus applications. Spyware silently tracks your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile for you that is transmitted without your knowledge to the compilers and sold to advertising companies. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you haven't intentionally installed, if your browser crashes inexplicably, or if your home page has been "hijacked" (or changed without your knowledge), your computer is most probably infected with spyware. Even if you don't see the symptoms, your computer may be infected. Spybot-S&D is free.
HijackThis is a general browser hijacker detection and removal tool that targets browser hijacking methods. Some of the action items that it identifies may be associated with adware-supported programs, which may cease to function is the associated adware is removed.
Notice: HiJackThis has been sold to Trend Micro (see http://www.spywareinfo.com/~merijn/). To download the new version, go to: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/news/index.html
Cleanup! is a Freeware utility created by Steven R. Gould that identifies items on your computer that can be removed to free up disk space, remove traces left by your web browsing and other activities and most importantly, bad stuff created by malware, spyware and adware. See Introduction to Cleanup! for a list for more information.
Another anti-spyware tool, offered as a free download. AVG Anti-Spyware 7.5 includes extended features like automatic updates that work on a free trial basis. After the trial period expires, the basic anti-spyware tool continues to work.
Grisoft sells several different security related products, including anti-malware and firewall. Click the link below for a list of all trial versions.
SpywareBlaster, Javacool Software
A free anti-spyware tool that:
- Prevents the installation of Active-X based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers and other potentially unwanted software.
- Blocks spyware/adware tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox web browsers.
- Restricts the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.
Notes: The free version does not include automatic updates. The SpywareBlaster AutoUpdate subscription is $9.95 (US) per year.