What is Spyware/Malware?
Spyware collects your personal information without your knowledge. This can be the websites you visit to more serious concerns like passwords and usernames you enter. It can also affect your computers performance as it uses vital resources and a heavy infection can pretty much bring your computer to a standstill. Malware is software that is designed to gain unauthorised access to your computer. Some of the nastier bits of software can open up your computer for nastier viruses or hijack your internet browser and inundate you with pop ups of false security software and cleaners
Getting Rid of it
Although there are lots of tools out there that offer free computer protection I think that there is one tool that stands head and shoulders above every other and is the first tool I turn to and that is malwarebytes.
Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware (MBAM) is a computer application that finds and removes malware. Made by Malwarebytes Corporation, it was released in January 2008. It is available in a free version, which scans for and removes malware when started manually, and a paid version, which provides scheduled scans, real-time protection and a flash memory scanner.
http://www.malwarebytes.org/ (Press Download Now for the free version)
1. Download from the above link and double click the saved file to start the install. Follow the on screen instructions.
2. After install has finished you will be presented with the following screen. Ensure both are ticked and press finish.
3. The program will now get the latest definitions (Like anti-virus software)
4. At the next window press decline on the pop up as we only want the free version
5. Select perform full scan and press Scan. Scanning can take up to 2 hours on a heavily infected machine and the program uses a lot of resources so it is recommended not to use the computer while the scan is running to avoid freezes.
6. Once the scan is finished if you have any infections you will be presented with a screen similar to the following. Press Ok then press show results
7. This page shows you the infections this could be anywhere from one or two to 1000s
8. Next press remove selected and the program will begin removing the infection from the computer. When the removal has finished you will more than likely be presented with the following screen and a log file. Restart your computer and the infections should be removed on restart.
Super Spy antiSpyware is another tool that is very helpful in the fight against spyware. It has good detection rates and is easy to install. As with a lot of free programs they do have a paid for version that offers additional features.
1. Download the program from the above link and install. During install ensure you dont install the toolbar. Double click the icon on your desktop to open.
2. Select “complete scan” and press “Scan your computer”
3. Select the drives you wish to scan on the right hand side (normally automatically selected) and leave all other settings at their default and press Start complete scan
4. The scan will start and you will see statistics of the file it has scanned and any threats it has already detected. Once the scan is complete and you are presented with the screen below press continue.
5. The next screen gives you a list of the threats detected. Press remove threats to remove the detected threats
6. In most case you will be asked to reboot the computer to completely get rid of the infections. Press reboot now.