What Is Spyware? -

 

In a nutshell, Spyware, also known as Adware and Malware, are software components designed to spy on your Internet and PC activity without your knowledge or approval.  They range in function from simple marketing trend tools all the way to malicious programs that slow down the performance of your computer, cause poor internet performance, and sometimes bring a nasty destructive virus with them that can elude anti-virus software.  In some cases they disable internet and network connectivity, or even steal your information.  Symptoms are often gradual poor performance, sudden strange behavior of your PC, or pop-ups even if you are not using the web.

 

These menacing components are picked up by simple web surfing.  However, the most troublesome ones tend to come from browsing porno sites, browsing software “crack” sites for illegal copies of software, and downloading/sharing files on free music sites such as KaZaa, Grokster, LimeWire, and others.

 

Prevention of infection from adware/spyware/malware is accomplished through the use of three products, SpywareBlaster*, Spybot Search & Destroy* (including TeaTimer), and AdAware Personal Edition*.  SpywareBlaster is an adware/spyware/malware blocker, while Spybot Search & Destroy, and AdAware Personal Edition are detection and removal tools.

 

(*SpywareBlaster, Spybot Search & Destroy, TeaTimer, and AdAware are licensed products of Javacool Software LLC, Safer Networking Limited, and Nicolas Stark AB, Sweden, respectively, and are in no means affiliated with That Computer Guy.)


TeaTimer –

 



Spybot includes a real time protection feature to protect against unwanted spyware and software installation called TeaTimer.  TeaTimer automatically runs in the background when you start Windows.

If a Spybot window pops up while you are installing or remove software, including Windows Updates or changing your Start Page in Internet Explorer, check the box next to Remember this decision, and click on the Allow change button.

 

If you are not installing or removing software when a Spybot window pops up, it is likely spyware or a virus attempting to infect your system, and you should check the box next to Remember this decision, and click on the Deny change button.

 


NOTE:  An internet connection is required for the following procedures.  Please ensure that you connect to the internet before starting.  It is recommended that this procedure be applied once every week or two to keep your PC protected.

 

SpywareBlaster -

 

  1. Double-click on the SpywareBlaster icon on your desktop to bring up SpywareBlaster.



Click on the Download Latest Protection Updates link at the bottom of the screen.  The following screen appears.



  1. Click on the Check for Updates button.  SpywareBlaster will connect to the update server to download and install any available updates.  During this process, the following screen appears:



    When it is complete, the next screen appears.



    You are now finished updating SpywareBlaster.  Close the screen by clicking the x in the upper right corner of the window.



AdAware –

 

  1. Double-click on the AdAware SE Personal icon on your desktop to bring up AdAware.



    Click on the Check for updates now link.

  2. Click on the Connect button on the screen that appears to connect to the update server.



    The following panel pops-up.  Click on the OK button to download and install the updates.





    The following panel appears during this process:



  3. On the screen that appears after the updates are installed, click on the Finish button.




  4. You will now be back in the main screen.  Click on the Start button to start the scan process for detection and removal of adware/spyware/malware.



    On the next screen, ensure that Perform full system scan is selected.  Click on the Next button to start the scan.

 

  1. The scan will start.



    And show you progress.

 

  1. When the scan is finished, the following screen will appear with the number of Critical Objects found.



    Click on the Next button.

 

  1. On this screen, several items may appear with a check box to the left of them.  Click in each of these check boxes to select them for removal and cleanup, except MRU List.  You may select the MRU List if you desire, however the objects in the MRU List do not generally pose any threat.





    After selecting the appropriate items, click on the Next button.

 

  1. Click on the OK button on the next panel to remove the selected objects.

 

  1. Most of the time, all of the critical objects will be removed, and you will be returned to the main screen.

    NOTE:  Sometimes AdAware cannot remove some of the infected items until Windows is restarted.  If AdAware requests to remove spyware upon next system restart, click on OK.

    Click on the x in the upper right corner to close AdAware.

 

 

Spybot Search and Destroy –

 

Double-click on the Spybot icon on your desktop.  It is setup to automatically connect to the update server, download and install the updates, and install the latest immunization against known spyware.  It will then automatically run a scan for spyware and remove and found objects.

During the scan the following screen will be displayed.



When the scan is finished, the Confirmation panel will appear if any problems have been found and fixed.  Click on the OK button.



The next screen will appear with details of what was found and removed or not removed.

NOTE:  Sometimes Spybot cannot remove some of the infected items until Windows is restarted.  If Spybot requests to remove spyware upon the next system restart, click on OK.



Click on the x in the upper right corner to close Spybot S&D.

 

Procedures