Spybot Search and Destroy is a really good spyware detector. I’ve used it in conjunction with Lavasoft’s Adaware and my AVG anti-virus for years. Spybot, though, unlike the free versions of the other two applications, can be automated.
Why Automate Spybot?
Spyware protection has two phases: one as information is coming to your computer, and one for information already on your computer, or camouflaged in place. By automating Spybot, you allow the system to look for the second type without your having to remember to run the program.
In order to apply these changes, you will need to put Spybot into Advanced Mode. This is done through the Mode menu. All the settings discussed below can then be found under the Settings section of the left-hand side of the Spybot screen.
The first step in this process is to set Spybot to automatically download updates to its definitions. This can be done in the Settings area, under Web Update. Check the “Search the Web for New Versions At Program Start”.You will also want to check the “Immunize on program start if program has been updated” in the Automation/Program Start section.
You can schedule Spybot to run within the application itself using the Scheduler option of the Settings. This simplifies creating a Windows Scheduler task.
There are two ways to automate fixes: if you use the schedule option above, you can check the “fix problems after scheduled scan” box. If you wish, you can also choose “Don’t ask for fixing confirmation” in the Automation/Program start section.
Spybot has the option to play sounds if problems are found or not; but you can also set Spybot to quit if there are no problems. In an automated scan (as long as you don’t automatically reboot before checking), you can have it quit by choosing “Close program if everything’s OK” from the Automation/System Start area.
As always, use your judgment when applying these tips, and make sure you understand about the options for recovery if you are going to use an automatic fix.
Photo by jj look