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Spyware Information

Look here for information regarding spyware - what's out there, what to do about it, and where to go for help.

There are many good programs for cleaning up spyware and adware. For home users, there are some free ones available. The list of recommended free ones is a short one: Lavasoft's Ad-Aware, Spybot Search & Destroy, and HiJackThis. None of these tools (free versions) are real-time tools. All of them have to be manually updated and run on a regular basis to be effective. HiJackThis is dangerous in the wrong hands because it only reports what it sees! You have to know which things are bad and which are good so that you only delete the bad ones. Unfortunately, none of these tools can do the job completely on their own or even in combination. It still requires some manual searching and cleaning to completely clean a machine of spyware.

There is one real-time program available for free, Windows AntiSpyware from Microsoft. It is currently in beta and is free for home and business users alike. Its cleanup rate is purportedly better than others, but again, not enough to do the whole job.

So why would anyone pay for a real-time anti-spyware program if you can get it for free? There are a couple of good reasons. First, a company making money on a product has a business model and so can afford to keep up development efforts on the software and maintain their update sites to allow for regular automated updating. Second, for the business customer, there are versions available for server environments that allow for centralized management of the clients.

Sunbelt Software and Microsoft are two of many companies that are sharing a database of undesirable elements. Sunbelt offers a product called CounterSpy which is available in single-user copies and multi-user licenses for their enterprise version. (Version 1.5 due out in April will have real-time support. In the meantime, it has a scheduled scan to clean anything that may have been downloaded.) We are a reseller for the enterprise version and can provide pricing and installation for this product. We are also an affiliate with Sunbelt Software. The following link can be used to purchase single copies of CounterSpy. Of course, we also offer installation support for it, too.

 

CounterSpy has been getting a lot of good press lately. Testing suggests that it is better than the Microsoft product and when coupled with HiJackThis, the combination can clean up 100% of the stuff that is currently out there. You can read some the testing results here http://www.sunbelt-software.com/rd/rd.cfm?id=050330BL-WinITProReview.

Spyware and adware can not only cause poor system performance, in many instances, they also allow other programs to be installed without your knowledge. The worst forms of spyware are programs that intercept passwords from your keyboard. You are not only losing privacy, you could be losing control of access to bank accounts and other financial data.

Just as for virus problems, we can remove spyware and adware from your systems and install programs to help prevent infection in the first place. We can also provide training to help you use these programs to effectively remove anything that does get past real-time protection.

   

 
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Last modified: November 14, 2012

 

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