Problem: Spyware, Adware, Viruses and Trojans
A wide variety of failures, system errors and general performance problems can be directly attributed to the presence of adware, spyware, viruses and trojans. Solution: Free downloadable removal utilities
Fortunately, these gremlins can be safely and easily removed using free software available on the web.
Here we have compiled the best of the best, in our opinion. Download and install the following utilities and you will be well on your way to eliminating many of the common problems experienced by new and experienced users alike.
IMPORTANT: As effective as these programs are, they do require you to keep them updated
. Like diseases, new strains of viruses, spyware and trojans make their way through the online community on a daily basis. Updates contain the latest definitions to keep your system safe on an ongoing basis. Usually you can download the updates by clicking on a choice or icon within the program interface itself. In some cases, you can even set the updates to occur automatically at set times. Stay current with your updates, and you should experience no problems.(Thanks to Raptor, Fed and GX1_Man for compiling the information that follows.)Virus scannersAVG Free
-- Anti virus scannerTrend Micro Housecall
-- Online anti virus scanner. Anti spy/malwareWindows Defender
-- Anti spyware scanner. Windows 2000 and XP only.Spybot Search & Destroy
-- Anti spyware scannerAdaware SE Personal
-- Anti spyware scannerFirewallsUse both a hardware and software firewall.
Be advised as dual software firewalls may cause problemsZoneAlarm Free
-- Free firewall - more user friendlySygate Personal
-- Free firewall - more configuration optionsRemoval toolsThe following files are not substitutes for the ones described above.
They are either diagnostic tools or removal tools for malware of a certain kindHijackThis
-- Manual malware remover. Post the HijackThis log generated only
if requested!McAfee Stinger
-- Virus removal tool. No substitute for a fully functional virus scanner!CWshredder
-- CoolWebSearch removal tool. Widely known and persistant Hijacker. cCleaner
-- Removes unused and unwanted files from your PCAnti TrojanEwido
-- Effective utility for finding and removing Trojans. Windows 2000 and XP only.NOTE: New users might find going through the following steps to be useful:
1. Turn off System Restore if applicable. (Windows ME & XP users)
2. Run Ccleaner
3. Run Ad-Aware
4. Run Spybot
5. Run Microsoft Antispyware
6. Run AVG Free
7. Run Ewido
8. Re-start in Safe Mode
9. Re-run AVG Free
10. Re-start in Normal Mode
11. Turn on System Restore if applicable. (Windows ME & XP users)