How Does Spyware & Adware Usually Attack?
This fairly new form of virus has one thing in mind, to take control over your online browsing experience and to give you another alternative without ever asking.
For example, these virus types will:
Take control of your browser search functions.
Display annoying popup ads when you launch your browser.
Take control of your “home page” in order to give you another home page instead.
Disable all search functions within your browser.
Write cookies onto your computer for data mining purposes without you knowing.
Add tracking cookies watching your every move online.
Slow down your computer’s performance.
Without proper protection against these threats, most people will never know how to find or remove these malicious programs. The worst part is, many of these malicious programs out there are built to elude detection programs. In reality, they are built to hide from the user and the protector. This is what makes these malicious programs so annoyingly deadly.
Here Is Some Ways Spyware Avoid Detection:
When spyware inserts a piece of its code into an already running program within your computer, in order to avoid detection from spyware protection software.
When you scan your computer for spyware and remove all malicious files found, this reloads script detects that you’ve just deleted the files associated with its programming, so it then takes a backup file and reloads the previously deleted spyware program without you knowing it.
Many bigger legitimate software programs have this feature so that you don’t accidentally delete the files necessary to run the program. Some s.p.y.w.a.r.e use this same method to protect itself from getting deleted by the user.
Like many programs have the ability to auto-update itself as soon as you log online in order to change the mechanics of its own programming to again, further avoid detection, and ultimately deletion.
These are just some of the techniques these virus type programs use to make it incredibly hard to remove from your desktop. Prevention and awareness are the keys to fighting off these infectious programs from getting into your computer and make a muck of things inside.
Spybot Search & Destroy
Microsoft Windows Defender
STOPzilla Spyware Remover
Corrupt Anti-Spyware Tools:
There is a whole list of removal tools that are actually corrupt, and their sole purpose is to do the opposite by installing spyware onto your computer, instead of actually removing them from your computer.
Here’s the list of corrupt anti-spyware tools:
Prevention Techniques: There is no technology out there that is 100%. At one point in time, you will get some form of malicious viruses that are installed on your computer. These prevention techniques will help to minimize your chances of getting them on a regular basis.
1) Make sure to have multiple anti-spyware removal tools installed on your computer.
Each anti-spyware removal tool is different, and they each look for different scripts/programs within your desktop Some software’s look at the surface, while others look deeper. In the past, I found that by running Spybot & Ad-Aware back-to-back, I would get different results every time which helped to detect unwanted scripts on many different levels. Spybot gave me a set of potential files, while Ad-Aware gave me another set of lethal files. Both scans together helped me to find spyware on the surface, and spyware deep within my hard drive.
2) Make sure your anti-spyware removal software is up-to-date.
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Just like I mentioned in part 1, you need to make sure that your spyware removal software is ALWAYS up-to-date with the most recent spyware definitions. This helps to detect newer, more powerful spyware scripts that haven’t been detected in the past. Newer definitions can be releases as often as once a week, so make sure to check often.
How Do I Update My Definitions?
9/10 Times you can find a button that says “Update Definitions”, “Check For Newer Updates”, etc. This button is usually right on the main interface when you launch the program. Make sure you update your definitions before you perform any scans.
3) Run your anti-spyware removal tools ATLEAST once a week.
I find that a lot of people who browse online actually have an anti-software removal tool installed on their computer, but they haven’t run any scans for quite some time now. Make sure to run a scan of your entire computer at least once a week. You might pick up spyware today, or tomorrow, you never know.
4) If a spyware program persists, try scanning via “SAFE MODE”.
When in doubt, run a spyware scan with your anti-virus removal tool while being in “SAFE MODE”. SAFE MODE allows your computer to run an essential program only. SAFE MODE will disable persistent spyware that is harder to remove. This allows you to detect and remove persistent spyware effectively while it remains dormant and inactive. In my experience, I’ve been able to remove a lot of spyware programs from SAFE MODE only.
How Do I Scan In SAFE MODE?
If you’ve exhausted every alternative, and still the spyware you’re trying to remove keeps coming back, try this…
Works for Windows 95, 98/ME, 2000, XP, Vista
A) Shut down your computer, wait 30 seconds, and reboot.
B) When you see the diagnostic info page and memory count…
C) Start tapping F8.
D) Select the “SAFE MODE” option (Default).
Note: If when you start tapping F8 and you get an error message, reboot again and don’t start tapping F8 so soon. Also, if your computer loads up normally, reboot again and don’t tap F8 too late. The key is to hit F8 when your 1st initial black/startup screen appears.
Once in safe mode, start your anti-spyware software removal tool and run a full system scan. You may get a shock when your software actually finds spyware which wasn’t detected by previous system scans.
Once complete, reboot your computer normally.
5) Make sure to install your operating system updates.
Every operating system needs periodic updates from the software provider. For example, Microsoft Windows sends a small popup to your computer asking you to install some new security updates. Many people I know either ignore these messages altogether or think they should only update once a year. This is a terrible practice for the maintenance of your computer. Installing security updates ensures that your computer has no known loopholes for spyware, adware, viruses, worms, or Trojans to exploit. Security updates help to prevent spyware from finding “back alleys” to play in.
Make sure to select “Automatic Updates”:
HIT: START > CONTROL PANEL > AUTOMATIC UPDATES > Select “Automatic Updates”.
This ensures that you don’t neglect your duty to update your computer on a regular basis. Prevention is the key here!
6) Don’t Install Software You Don’t Recognize:
Most evil programs are installed by YOU! They typically get into your computer from “FREE Shareware” software that you install directly from online sources. A great deal of shareware software come with a little surprise package attached to it. For the most part, all you need to do is read the “end user agreement” carefully before installing the software. Most agreements tell you that this software will install secondary ad programs, ad popup’s, etc. Don’t install anything that has unwanted add-ons that don’t give you the ability to “not install” them. When downloading shareware, make sure to download the software from trusted sources like “http://www.download.com”.
7) Don’t Visit Porn, Hare, or Warren Websites:
A great deal of spyware installs them directly from a compromised website that you visit online. They generally exploit your “ActiveX” controls within your browser in order to install their spyware files silently without your knowledge. Many of the porn website’s have silent spyware downloads to get “back at people” who look for porn. This is a way for the webmasters to say, “Stop looking at porn”. These same principles apply to hacker websites and hate related websites. Anything with a negative touch online has the potential to give you unwanted spyware scripts.
If you feel a need to visit these types of websites, make sure to run your anti-spyware software removal tool after each time that you visit these widely exploited websites. Again, prevention is the key!
8) Make sure to activate your Firewall!
Like I mentioned in part 1, a firewall can prevent hackers from getting into your computer through the back-alleys and hidden holes within your computer system. Make sure to activate your system’s firewall in order to prevent such attacks.
Activating your firewall:
Windows systems: START > CONTROL PANNEL > INTERNET CONNECTIONS > WINDOWS FIREWALL > “On (Recommended)”.
Mac Users: APPLE MENU > SYSTEM PREFERENCES > SHARING PANE > FIREWALL > START
There you go; your firewall is now active!