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FREE spyware or cleanup software

Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2007: FREE spyware or cleanup software
By Tonya on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 10:26 am:

We did a scan and have trojans and bugs all over our computer any free cleaners out there to get rid of this crap HELP!!

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 12:57 pm:

First, update your anti-virus software and run it - that should work on at least some of the trojans.

Spybot and AdAware are both free and both work very well. I prefer to get these downloads from PC World. Copy these links and paste in your address bar.

Here's the page for downloading Spybot:,22262-page,1-c,antispywaretools/description.html

Here's the page for downloading AdAware:,7423-order,1-page,1-c,antispywaretools/description.html

Be sure to download the FREE version of AdAware.

After you download each program you must update it. Each program has a button to click for that purpose.

After you update, disconnect from the internet and run each program. It will take 15-20 minutes for each. Each program will provide a list of all the spyware/trojans/etc. it finds, and will ask if you want them deleted.

I'll have some more suggestions when I am at home tonight, but this will get you started.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 06:29 pm:

OK, Tonya, now I'm on my dime and not my boss's. So, after you download Spybot and Adaware, update them, and run them (and, in the process, get rid of dozens of pieces of spyware), go back to Spybot. In the left side menu you'll see a shield labeled Immunize. Click that. Spybot will do a quick check and tell you how many pieces of spyware it has immunized you against - that is, they can't even get on your computer. Then click the green cross in the top menu, labeled Immunize, and Spybot will immunize you against thousands of spyware programs.

Whether you should use a firewall depends on whether you have DSL or cable, or are using a modem. Most DSL and cable providers have firewalls built in. If that is the case, your provider can tell you how to activate and use the firewall. If you, like me, are using a Modem, check to see if your anti-virus program has a firewall. If it does not, then download the free firewall from ZoneAlarm. If you are using the Windows firewall you will have to deactivate it (and I'm not sure how to do that) because the Windows firewall and Zonealarm do not play nice together.

Finally, go into Tools\Options\Privacy on your Internet Explorer toolbar (I am using IE6; you may be using IE7). In IE6, once you are in privacy, click advanced. Then click to turn off automatic cookie handling, and click prompt for both kinds of cookies. Finally, do click to allow session cookies (as in, for your Momsview sessions). For a while, every time you go to a new site, you will get a popup window telling you someone is trying to put a cookie on your computer and do you want to allow or not allow - with a box to click to make your decision for that site or cookie-maker permanent. As you build up a list of decisions, you'll see that window pop up less often. Now, if you make purchases on line, you do need to allow the cookies from the site where you are making the purchase (like Amazon). If you blocked that site's cookies you can go back into the Privacy tab, click "sites", and scroll down to the name of the site you want to allow, click on it so it shows in the top bar and click allow.

When I first downloaded and used Spybot and Adaware I had dozens and dozens of spyware stuff. And when I ran it each month, I'd have 20-30 more. But after I started controlling who puts cookies on my computer, I get maybe 1 or 2 pieces of spyware a month, tops.

By Ginny~moderator on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 06:30 pm:

Finally, check out PCWorld for what they recommend for a free virus sweep. There are a couple, and if PCWorld recommends them I'd be willing to trust them.

By Tonya on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 07:17 pm:

thank you Ginny I love you!!!!!

By Dawnk777 on Monday, October 8, 2007 - 07:57 pm:

AVG anti-virus It sometimes finds viruses and stuff, that the others leave behind.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 06:13 am:

I've heard good things about AVG from friends and IT people.

By Angellew on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 09:23 am:

Another thanks to Ginny! I've been using Spybot for awhile and never realized about the immunize button! (Guess I wasn't really paying attention!)

By Tarable on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 10:08 am:

AGV is what my DH the computer nerd uses on his home machine. I would suggest downloading the free version and have it scan weekly at least.

By Dawnk777 on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 10:18 am:

We have a 5-computer license for AVG and the paid version is nice, because you can schedule it to scan and update! I have it all happening in the middle of the night, when I'm sleeping.

By Ginny~moderator on Tuesday, October 9, 2007 - 06:38 pm:

Angela, I'll be honest and admit that it is only recently that I realized that the "immunization" process in Spybot is a 3-step process. I was cheerfully clicking on the shield, and then on the button in the middle of the screen, but was failing to click on the green cross in the top menu - which is what actually finishes the immunization process.

I am very fond of Spybot. It is a free download of the type known as "shareware", which means that if you use it and like it, if you are so inclined you can send some money to the Spybot creator through PayPal. I do that about once a year, because I appreciate that he not only developed this very good spyware prevention program, but made it free, *and* takes the time and trouble to do frequent updates to the list of spyware programs that it blocks. That's a lot of work.

I don't have the same feelings about AdAware, because they also have an "upgraded" program that they sell, with annual renewals, that not only finds spyware when you run the program, but also blocks ads and spyware. Same with ZoneAlarm, which has a free fire-wall program and also a paid program with annual renewal costs.

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