Your Questions About Spyware Removal Windows 7

Posted by softwareguru on July 26, 2014

Steven asks…

HELP! Spyware removal?!?

On my computer, the messages for vista spyware protection 2010 kept coming up- So I googled it and apparently the vista spyware– IS spyware. Ive tried to find a spyware removal thing, like spyware doctor- but you have to pay to actually get rid of the problem. I know it sounds stingy- but unfortunately I cant afford these £40+ registration fees that get rid of spyware. So, my question is what should I do, and does anyone know a good reliable spyware remover that is free? Or another way to get rid if it? Thankyou for all the answers!!!!

softwareguru answers:

You can run antivirus and antispyware programs, but the sad fact is if you have found one virus on your computer, you probably have several. Cleaning the computer now requires you to follow these steps, because modern viruses and spyware entrench themselves in files that your computer needs in order to run:

1. Virus-check your data files (not application files– you have installer CDs for those).
2. Back up the data files, getting them off your hard drive.
3. Get your original operating system CDs that came with your computer.
4. Boot your computer from the operating system CD.
5. Select the option that erases your hard drive and then reinstall your system software.
6. Turn on your software firewall that came with your operating system.
7. Reconnect to the internet, and download *all* Windows updates, no matter how long it takes.
8. Reinstall your application software, and update the applications as much as you can.
9. Reinstall your data files.
10. Create a limited user account on your system that does *not* have administrator access, and web surf only from this account.

Yes, this is a pain in the butt. No, there is no other way. No, antivirus and antispyware programs cannot fix this problem on its own.

So, what do you do in the future?

1. Never click on links you find in an e-mail.
2. Never open an e-mail attachment, ever.
3. Only download files from a reputable website that you know is on the up-and-up.
4. Never use bit-torrent and other file-sharing programs.
5. Never use an unsolicited drive-checking site.
6. Turn off all java and java scripting by default, and only enable java and java scripting for sites that you know you can trust.
7. Never read an unsolicited e-mail, and delete spam immediately. It is possible to be hacked by reading an e-mail alone.

Please adhere to the ‘dont’s’ I provided above, because you will have to repeat the cleaning steps that I listed first *every time you get infected.* Anti-spyware and anti-virus programs are good to have, but they are a second line of defense. The best way to protect your system is you, and changing your behavior.

Good luck!

Donna asks…

That is a spyware?

softwareguru answers:


Spyware is computer software that is installed surreptitiously on a personal computer to intercept or take partial control over the user’s interaction with the computer, without the user’s informed consent.

While the term spyware suggests software that secretly monitors the user’s behavior, the functions of spyware extend well beyond simple monitoring. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software, redirecting Web browser activity, accessing websites blindly that will cause more harmful viruses, or diverting advertising revenue to a third party. Spyware can even change computer settings, resulting in slow connection speeds, different home pages, and loss of internet or other programs. In an attempt to increase the understanding of spyware, a more formal classification of its included software types is captured under the term privacy-invasive software.

In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security best practices for Microsoft Windows desktop computers. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user’s computer.

The first recorded use of the term spyware occurred on October 16, 1995 in a Usenet post that poked fun at Microsoft’s business model.[1] Spyware at first denoted hardware meant for espionage purposes. However, in early 2000 the founder of Zone Labs, Gregor Freund, used the term in a press release for the ZoneAlarm Personal Firewall.[2] Since then, “spyware” has taken on its present sense. [2] According to a 2005 study by AOL and the National Cyber-Security Alliance, 61% of surveyed users’ computers had some form of spyware. 92% of surveyed users with spyware reported that they did not know of its presence, and 91% reported that they had not given permission for the installation of the spyware.[3] As of 2006, spyware has become one of the preeminent security threats to computer systems running Microsoft Windows operating systems. In an estimate based on customer-sent scan logs, Webroot Software, makers of Spy Sweeper, said that 9 out of 10 computers connected to the Internet are infected.[4] Computers where Internet Explorer (IE) is the primary browser are particularly vulnerable to such attacks not only because IE is the most widely-used,[5] but because its tight integration with Windows allows spyware access to crucial parts of the operating system.[6][5]

Before Internet Explorer 7 was released, the browser would automatically display an installation window for any ActiveX component that a website wanted to install. The combination of user naiveté towards malware and the assumption by Internet Explorer that all ActiveX components are benign, led, in part, to the massive spread of spyware. Many spyware components would also make use of flaws in Javascript, Internet Explorer and Windows to install without user knowledge or permission.

The registry also contains numerous locations that allow software to be executed automatically when the operating system boots. Spyware often exploits this design to help it circumvent attempts at removal. The spyware typically will link itself from each of location in the registry that allows execution. Once running, the spyware will periodically check if any of these links are removed. If so, they will be automatically restored. This ensures that the spyware will execute when the operating system is booted even if some (or most) of the registry links are removed.

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