Someone commented on my prior article about:blank hijacked my
homepage – how do I fix it?:
After spending about $29.00 a shot for 5 or 6 different spyware
It is frustrating. But there are several possible reasons you’d get
It’s not necessarily a losing battle, but it is a constant one.
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Tip #1: Don’t spend any money on anti-spyware. It’s
currently not worth it.
For what it’s worth, I’ve never spent a dime on spyware removers/checkers
and actually don’t recommend that anyone do so. The free packages seem to be
the best right now anyway even if none of them get you 100% coverage.
Tip #2: Run the right tools for the job.
Now, to the list of tools you mention that you’re running, you should be
aware that firewalls and most anti-virus programs give you no protection
against spyware. None. So the fact that you’re running with a firewall and are
running Norton (Anti-Virus, I assume) is great, but for other
The only tool you’ve mentioned that would apply is Spysweeper by Webroot.
The good news there is that it has a fairly good reputation.
Tip #3: Keep your tools up to date.
Even the right tool will not work properly if it doesn’t have the
latest and greatest definition of what spyware is. Spyware, like
viruses, is a race. New spyware is being generated every day, and that means
all the spyware scanners need to be updated regularly. Usually that’s as simple
as telling the scanner to update itself. Microsoft’s even automates that
Tip #4: Use the tool’s advanced features.
Spybot Search and Destroy and Microsoft’s Anti-Spyware both have a feature
called “inoculation” or “immunization”. Other tools may have something similar.
These features cause the tools to monitor for spyware-like behavior and either
prevent it, or at least ask you about it, before it takes place. For
example with either, you can prevent your Internet Explorer homepage from being
changed by anyone. Hence, homepage hijacking is a thing of the past. Both keep
an eye on registry changes as well. Look for these features in whatever
anti-spyware program you choose, and turn these features on.
Tip #5: Don’t be part of the problem.
All the protection in the world won’t help if you engage in risky behavior.
Download and install software only from places you trust. One of the
largest sources of spyware anywhere are the peer-to-peer file sharing
programs like Kazaa. They come loaded with spyware. Check out the reputation of
a package before you install it. Don’t open email attachments unless you
know it’s safe and legitimate.