Let’s just start this out by saying I know better.
But if it can happen to me, it can happen to you.
I was looking for a way to simplify my digital scrapbooking files, and I saw a link for software. This was software I had heard of before, and it came from a site I had used frequently. Right before I clicked on the link, the thought flitted through my mind, “I wonder if this is going to load me up with spyware?” And it did.
Out came my suite of tools. I use three, all free, and have had success with the combination. One tool isn’t enough; you will find that no one tool gets everything. So the best defense is to use a variety. Here are my three choices:
AVG Anti-virus provides an anti-virus/spyware removal tool. The free version, available for home use only, does not offer the flexibility of the paid version. Both, however, are excellent at catching viruses and spyware.
Spybot is a great tool for getting rid of spyware. It is easy to use, and can be made to run in a way that automatically updates the software, runs the scan, fixes things, and if there were problems, run the scan again on startup. I like this tool because after I figured out how to automate it, I no longer have to think about it.
Lavasoft’s Adaware is an excellent tool for getting rid of spyware and also not-so-malicious things that lurk in the computer, like tracking cookies. The free version can’t be automated, but it runs well.
I was lucky this time. My tools handled it, after 6 different scans and an overnight software exam. I know there are times when getting rid of spyware or a virus requires a reload. In fact, I just went through this at work, where my anti-virus got infected, and the removal trashed the system.
If you’re not using spyware protection/detection, now is the time to start. Don’t wait until the machine crashes!
Photo by jovike