General Question

theabk's avatar

What's the best way to deal with recurrent spyware?

Asked by theabk (683points) March 19th, 2007
My husband's computer has recently acquired a bad case of spyware - he runs Spybot Search and Destroy every day and gets rid of everything but there is always more stuff the next day. Any advice on a permanent or at least semi-permanent way to deal with this?
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8 Answers

bpeoples's avatar
Have to ask... are you using Internet Explorer to browse? Otherwise, there is some really persistent stuff, and sometimes you have to use separate programs (etc etc etc). The simplest next thing to try would be running Spybot S&D; and then Ad Aware, which you can download from here:;=dl&tag;=top5
bpeoples's avatar
(they each catch probably 80-90% of stuff, but their 10-20% that they miss isn't always the same)
b's avatar
Option A) Buy an Apple
b's avatar
Option B) If none of the spyware programs bpeoples mentioned work, format the hard drive and re-install everything. After that you have to be really careful of what websited you visit and what software you choose to download.
b's avatar
Option B might sound a bit extreme, but spyware has a tendency to attach itself to important system resources, and removing the spyware will also remove the resources. This causes general system instability and annoying error messages. I compare it to having to amputate a limb due to a disease to save the person.
Merlin's avatar

Install a GOOD (meaning pay for the professional version if you surf a a lot) security suite that includes anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-adware applications. The suite should update signatures automatically - and probably daily.

I know everyone has issues with the suites and everyone has their favorites. McAfee works fine and doesn't bring the system to a halt like I've seem Norton/Symantec do many times. Kaspersky works too but is a real annoying program to manage. I ripped it out after 3 months in spite of paying for 2 years subscription. Avast Pro works too as does F-Prot. Read reviews of various programs at PC World and CNet. Look at the customer reviews as well. Disregard any that start out "This is crap.." when most other folks take a more moderate line in their review.

Next READ BEFORE YOU CLICK OK. Most spyware/adware is installed with permission as a part of the installation of games or other free/low cost downloads. Nothing is free but the pitfalls can be overcome if you read what you are installing.

Get a browser based site adviser like McAfee's site adviser (included in their suite) that lets you know ahead of time if there are issues with a site. You can still choose to surf there if a site is red flagged just be on your toes and don't approve any installation you don't understand.

mpo26's avatar

Download a program called Hijack This. It shows dodgy looking registry entries and gives you the option to remove them.

Some spyware is tough to remove with generic tools though and I usually find doing a google search with the symptoms or the name, if detected but not removed, will give more information on how to remove it.

mpo26's avatar

Also make sure your Internet Explorer or Firefox are totally up to date and they improve security.

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