By Mark Gebbia
Easy-To-Use Free Spyware Removal Programs
Nobody wants spyware on their computer and there are many kind programmers that offer free software to remove it simply on principal. You really shouldn’t have to buy anything to have this pesky software removed. In fact some of the products that cost money don’t work nearly as well as the free versions. Worse yet, a few of those programs don’t do anything at all to remove spyware! We will start with the easiest solutions and move on to programs that require a little experience and technical understanding to use. 99% of the time these simple solutions will take care of all your spyware problems.
Spybot Search and Destroy
You may have heard of Spybot. It is commonly used and commonly praised. Continually updated for emerging threats, spybot is also user friendly.
Ad-Aware Personal Edition
Ad-Aware is another popular program that will scan your hard drive and remove malicious software. If you ask around, you will find advocators who swear by one or these two programs. It’s really just a matter of choice. And if you can’t choose, there’s no harm in downloading and trying them both just in case. Then in the future you choose your favorite of the two.
Your best bet is to download and install one of the first two easy-to-use programs mentioned above, update and run them regularly – especially after installing any new software.
Advanced Spyware Removal Tools
The following tools require some understanding of the programs you actually need on your computer and how your computer works. They are more aggressive and therefore you could mess up your computer if you don’t know what you’re doing. So be warned!
Merijn.org contains some free tools that really search the depths of you computer to mine out bad programs. Their download page contains all kinds of great free goodies for problem solving computer disasters. Keep in mind with these free programs that someone took the time to write the code for your benefit. If something you find here saves your life, it might build some good karma to donate a couple of bucks to the hardworking programmer through his site. One of his tools that is definitely worth looking into is called HijackThis!
HijackThis! works by scanning all the programs, add-ons and your registry and then returns a list of programs installed in areas that are often targeted by spyware. It does not differentiate between good software and spyware though – that is up to you. So you may erase programs you actually need if you’re not careful.