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How to Remove Adware and Spyware

Spyware and adware are small software apps that get installed in the user PC and do all sorts of undesired stuff. There is very thin line differentiating between spyware and adware. As name suggests a spyware is a program that can keep an eye on what the user is doing on a particular machine, like keystrokes logging, database of site he/she is visiting and other personal information. This information is then intended to be sent to third party, who can use it for marketing research or simply to steal the particulars. It’s a big security vulnerability and risk for the user.


On the other hand, typical free programs (free wares) use adware to recover or reduce the cost of application development. Adware will simply pop up advertisements at pre-programmed moment for the user to see. Advance adware can also use the Internet connection to update or download new ads. Sometimes it could be quite annoying and distracting for the user who is unknown of this. In this tutorial we have mentioned the utilities and steps that can be followed to get rid of these undesired apps.

 

Preventive Measures

  • Use good and latest Antivirus
  • Update Windows software (important patches and updates provided by OS vendor). Automatic updates is preferred method
  • Use OS in built anti spyware programs – Windows provides an application called Windows Defender, which is bundled free with Windows Vista and Win 7. This is again a good tool to keep malevolent code away
  • Keep browser application up to date and avoid installing toolbars from unreliable sources
  • Keep System’s firewall on and well tuned
  • Read End User License Agreement (EULA) before installing any software product – Some EULA might mention that they are specifically installing a piece of code to monitor the user activity for some reason

 

Spyware and Adware Removal Techniques

Once the system is infected, we need to remove the malicious apps manually or by tools available. Manually its quite complex, so lets rely on the tools available over the web.

  • Update/install recommended anti virus and boot the system in the safe mode, and do a thorough checkup
  • Some anti virus supports safe mode boot scanning feature, which can be utilized to remove spywares/adware. Advantage in safe mode booting is that most of the startup items don’t get a chance to initialize (including malicious code) and system is relatively free.
  • Use automated tools such as Spybot (S&D), Ad-Aware, Spyware Doctor, etc to get rid of these wicked codes

 

Spybot

One of the most reputed tools on the Internet, this software is free to download and use. Supports all major version of Windows and option to create recovery/bootable CD in case in system scan and removal is not possible. Latest version available is v1.6.2.46 and can be downloaded from here.

Spybot Main Screen 

File Scan Window

 

 

Ad-Aware

A good tool kit developed by company called Lavasoft, this software has capability to remove malicious code from system. While the basic app is free, user needs to pay out for advance features. The software can be downloaded from http://www.lavasoft.com.

Main Screen

 

Spyware Doctor

PC Tools is renowned name in Computer system diagnostics and malware removal. Again an efficient software, this can be purchased online from http://www.pctools.com/. Trial software provides free scanning.

 Spyware Doctor Primary Window

 

  • Create sos CD to boot the system from it and run the check/removal program

 

Prevention better than Cure

Its better to keep your PC tuned up with the preventive measures, rather then to let it get infect and later on spend time, resources and money on hard removal.

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