Recommended Antispyware Programs - Protect Your Identity

By: Usnetizen  09-12-2011
Keywords: spyware, Antispyware

Vundo virus information. We have seen a large number of infections from the Vundo virus recently. Most commonly, it's Windows XP with Internet Explorer 6 or 7 that is infected. Vundo is a trojan type virus that installs as a browser helper object (BHO) in Internet Explorer and serves popup ads while you are surfing. Some variants identify that you are infected with spyware and offer to sell you software to fix the spyware. The software sounds official like "MSAntivirus" or "AntiSpyware 2009." These are scams. Do not buy software from a popup even if it looks official.

Vundo renames itself and creates undeletable entries in the registry. These self-defense mechanisms make it difficult for antivirus and antispyware programs to permanently remove. Vundo seems to reappear when it's deleted and reinstalls itself with every boot.

The best defense against this trojan is to STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER. IE is the favorite target of hackers because it has the largest number of users and they keep finding exploits. Any other browser is safer simply because they have fewer users. We recommend and use FireFox, Chrome, and Opera.

Antispyware is essential for any computer connected to the Internet. It is every bit as important as antivirus. Spyware slows your computer and your Internet connection down to a crawl and sometimes to the point where you can't boot. Spyware has matured enough that it is very clever about getting past your computer's defenses and you need equally sophisticated defenses.

Antispyware needs to be similar to antivirus by having multiple lines of defense:

  • A file scanner that seeks out spyware already installed. A smart scan (fast) and thorough scan (slow) should be selectable. You can use as many scanners as you like - they don' t tend to interfere with each other.
  • An immunization method to prevent spyware from being installed. Usually this involves setting portions of your registry to read-only. Some spyware gets around it anyway.
  • A real-time memory-resident scanner to catch installations as they occur. Only install one of these as they could step on each other and cause problems.
  • A backup and restore to be able to recover from an ugly spyware incident.

Some antispyware programs exaggerate the threat of cookies or most-recently-used (MRU) entries. These are generally harmless, but it doesn't hurt anything to delete them. These shouldn't get red flags, more like a yawn would suffice.

Free Antispyware

Antimalware. This antispyware program is similar to SuperAntispyware and is a worthy addition as extra ammunition in fighting spyware. US it as a scanner, then close it. Does not include continuous protection. Updates are manual.

Industrial Strength Antispyware

To save a bunch of time, we have distilled the paid choices down to out top pick: Webroot SpySweeper.

. This program has all the elements of good antispyware software: deep scanning, memory-resident processes, automatic updates. Not too CPU intensive when it's just protecting and not in deep scan mode. This is the most thorough scanner around and it does not install spyware itself. It has the seal of approval from a few reputable magazines as well. If you install this program, you should not install Spyware Blaster or Spyware Guard. in 2006 and touted as "Spy Sweeper is the best antispyware we've seen." If you buy an antispyware program, SpySweeper is the one. Take the of course before you buy. US Netizen Recommended

This program is included free with a $21.99/month subscription to Earthlink. Actually, this is a rebranded version of . This was also reviewed in 2006 by PC Magazine and was the . The review stated "In testing, Aluria Anti-Spyware wasn't effective at removing or blocking keyloggers, though it did detect two of the six. When installed on our infested systems, it found two-thirds of the sample spyware but succeeded in removing less than half of those." We tested the and found that it did not actually scan our computer, but falsely reported finding five spyware programs. It reported our computer being infected with 008RemoteKeylogger, CoolWebSearch, IST.XXXToolbar, ISearch, and PSGuard.

We carefully looked for each of the five spyware programs and none were present. Of course, they offered to sell us the Protection Control Center for $48/year to remove these fictitious spyware programs. This is quite deceptive advertising by Earthlink, but they didn't create the software, they just licensed it from Aluria. When we ran the Aluria Scanner, it found three fictitious spyware programs and offered to sell us Aluria Anti-Spyware at $29.95 to remove them.

Based on our observations, we recommend staying away from anything created by Aluria including Earthlink Anti-Spyware Protection.

What about AOL Spyware Protection? This program is a rebranded version of Webroot Spy Sweeper. So, for $23.95/month, you get to use Spy Sweeper which would otherwise cost you $29.95/year.

The information in this article was current at 06 Dec 2011

Keywords: Antispyware, spyware

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Recommended Products and Services

If you really need to use a site with scripting and you trust it, use Internet Explorer for that site only. Where there isn't a free service or product that performs adequately, we recommend one with low cost. Browsers: Internet Explorer is a good browser that renders more pages correctly than the others. US Netizen is making recommendations for a variety of Internet-related service and products.


Recommended Antivirus Programs - Mostly Free

There are alternatives that are almost as good as the big boys, but free with no nagging to buy another year of updates. It has everything you need including automatic updates, memory-resident scanning, and scheduled file scanning. All of these companies give away virus/worm removal tools when a particularly ugly threat is on the loose. Antivirus software has been essential for several years and the programs are mature and quite effective.