Removing browser hijacks, Virus's and Spyware
Published: 17th April 2006 | Source: Overclock3D |
Change your browser
Ditch Internet Explorer and use something like Mozilla click here or Firefox Firefox They are more secure and come with built in popup blocking and ad blocking via a plugin called Adblock Download Here Older versions of FireFox were not recognised by some plugin installers, eg the Flash installer. If you experience problems installing plugins you may need to use Mozilla or another browser.
Change your E-mail client
Along with Internet Explorer give Outlook it's marching orders. There's a lot of viruses and the like that are written to use Outlook and/or the Windows Address Book. Try something like Thunderbird Thunderbird or Eudora Here
Know what you are installing. Some programs come bundled with spyware, adware etc. eg. I'm not sure if this is still the case but the DivX codec used to come with GAIN/Gator adware. Also read any warnings that your browser displays. A program may be attempting to install it's self without your approval.
Stay up to date
Windows Update Need I say more? Ok, maybe I do. If you want to save a whole chunk of downloads you can order the Security Update CD from Microsoft's website. It includes Service Pack 1 for XP as well as a number of updates released after SP1. There is also updates for Windows ME, 2000 Professional, 98SE and 98. Also on the CD is Direct X 9.0b and Windows Media Player 9. The Securtiy Update CD is free. To have a copy sent to you fill out this form on Microsoft's website Here The Security Update CD comes with a second CD as well. On the second disc is a trial version of eTrust EZ Armor, a firewall and anti virus program. Or if you are running XP you can order Service Pack 2 on CD. Fill out this form SP2 Form and Microsoft will send it out to you. Some people have had problems with SP2 but I recommend you install it. If possible install it on a fresh install or better yet create a new XP install CD with SP2 slipstreamed and install from that. A forum search will turn up a number of threads to help with slipstreaming. If you want to stay with Internet Explorer SP2 will also provide popup blocking and help prevent sites installing software without your consent
Block bad programs
Spybot has an option to immunize your computer. This will block spyware before it gets onto your computer. This is aimed at Internet Explorer but can still help. Open Spybot and click on Immunize. A window will come up telling you how many bad products are already blocked. Click on Ok. Use the Immunize button at the top of the window to block these products. You can also enable blocking of bad addresses in Internet Explorer. If enable this option you can choose to block pages silently, display a dialog box when the page is blocked or ask for confirmation before blocking. Adaware has an "Ad-watch" program which can intercept bad programs before they make it onto your computer but you need a licensed version of Adaware.
Another product that works similar to Adaware and Spybot is Pestpatrol. It can scan for and remove spyware, adware and other similar programs. You can download an evaluation copy from the website Here To obtain the full copy, including a years worth of updates, you must purchase it. I have used this program so I can say it's worth the $US39.95. Pestpatrol also offer an online scan for spyware, adware, etc called PestScan. Find it here Petscan