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How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-09-2004, 10:11 PM   #1
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How to deal with adware and spyware

What is the best way to prevent those pesky adware and spyware programs from latching on to the Internet Explorer Home Page and from popping up all the time?

I have run the SpyBot - Search & Destroy software but it doesn't seem to work very well.

Thanks in advance.

Dante
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-09-2004, 10:16 PM   #2
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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What is the best way to prevent those pesky adware and spyware programs from latching on to the Internet Explorer Home Page and from popping up all the time?
Use a Mac?
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-09-2004, 10:18 PM   #3
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

1) take it easy on the internet porn

2) drop ie and switch to mozilla (http://www.mozilla.org/)

3) get the latest security patches from MSFT
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-10-2004, 05:55 AM   #4
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

In addition to Spybot you need to run Adaware by Lavasoft. They have different strengths.

Also, as someone suggested, Foxfire by Mozilla is a much better browser.

Also, the google toolbar helps prevent popups.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-10-2004, 11:09 AM   #5
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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What is the best way to prevent those pesky adware and spyware programs from latching on to the Internet Explorer Home Page and from popping up all the time?
Start w/ a clean install of the operating system if possible.
The key to avoiding adware/spyware is to be very careful what you install. Choose your software applications very carefully. Do a little research on every program that you install, making sure the company doesn't use adware.

Next comes your browser. I'm very satisfied with Mozilla's FireFox (www.mozilla.org). If you use Internet Explorer (IE), check your privacy and security settings. Make sure they are both set to MEDIUM, at a minimum, preferably HIGH. Most importantly, make sure that IE is set to PROMPT or DISABLE when downloading Active-X controls.

Next, make sure you have a good Anti-Virus program and a Firewall running on your computer. I use Norton Internet Security which includes both and an Anti-Spam option.

If you are connected to the internet over a broadband (CABLE/DSL) connection, you MUST HAVE A FIREWALL. If you're using a Router/Switch/Wireless Access Point, it probably already has a Firewall built in (my D-Link does). Make sure that it's configured properly. If you don't have one, go buy one. They are inexpensive, easy to install, and very convenient.

In addition, set up a firewall on each computer. You can use Nortion, or a free firewall called ZoneAlarm. If you need to network computers at home, set the firewall to allow connections from that specific computer only.

Next, watch your web surfing. Don't download programs off the internet that you haven't researched and found are free of adware. Watch out for those pop-ups that say some enticing message, and prompt with a YES/NO option, Always select NO, unless you're absolutely sure it's OK.

Next, comes email. If possible, use an email provider that has a good spam filter. I use Yahoo and am very impressed with their ability to filter SPAM. Never open email attachments without first scanning them for viruses.

Finally, update the 'virus definitions' in your anti-virus program regularly (like once a week). Scan for viruses regularly. Scan with SpyBot once a month.

Good luck.








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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-10-2004, 11:13 AM   #6
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

I use spybot and adaware, but they dont do everything. What you may have is called a "BHO" or browser helper object. I think theres a piece of s/w called 'bhocop' or something like that which may help.

I'll add a recommendation for firefox.

If you're going to stay with IE, and you're running windows xp, you might want to install the new service pack 2 which revamps IE and includes a lot more security features.

I've been running the release candidates for about a month with absolutely no problems on two machines. The final version came out a few days ago.

If you have broadband and dont mind waiting 20 minutes, you can get it here now
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/d...displaylang=en
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-10-2004, 04:56 PM   #7
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

My father's computer had spyware that messed up his system. *Ad-aware, Spybot, and the anti virus didn't help. *I downloaded the free version of a product called X-Cleaner, and this helped make the computer usable again. *Maybe this will help you also.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-10-2004, 05:53 PM   #8
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

Sorry to zig the topic abit here but does anyone use Ameritrade's stock streamer with Mozilla? I have to get back to IE to do it. Am I missing some java plugin or something?
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-12-2004, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

Adware and spyware are leaving the anti-adware and anti-spyware programs in the dust these days, unfortunately.

TH, I used BHOdemon for a while but now use HijackThis.

I use Mozilla FireFox instead of IE for most internet browsing. Not everything works with it, though: a programming tool called "object model" has three versions: the IE version, the Netscape version and a standards group (IEEE? W3C? I forget) version. Most browsers can handle Netscape and the standards version, but only IE has all the features of the IE version, so if a web developer used the IE tools Mozilla may not work. I don't know if the Ameritrade ticker is one of these items or not.

I'm at a loss to offer advice to non tech savvy people about adware and spyware except to only browse trusted sites, don't install untrusted software and use something besides IE. Once you have something try both Spybot S&D and AdAware. A coworker has good luck with Webroot SpySweeper, but I think that costs money. If at first you don't succeed, try booting into safe mode before running the scanner, and after that in safe mode start IE, choose Tools->Internet Options, click the Programs tab and push the "Reset Web Settings..." button; it will ask if you want to reset your home page, too...if you have the home page you want uncheck the box. Click Yes. The IE bit hopefully resets the search page settings which I've seen reinstall adware after I've spent an hour uninstalling all of it.

For the tech savvy, here is my current kill-all routine for adware/spyware: Download HijackThis. Boot to safe mode. Run HijackThis and remove things that don't belong (unfortunately, this requires tech savvy judgement...HijackThis lists a number of things including startup programs, BHO's, search page settings, plugins, host file entries and more that are different than defaults; much of the changes are legitimate, but some are spyware). Run it again to double-check. Delete the C:\Program Files\Common Files\WinTools folder if it exists (sometimes this requires taking ownership of a file and changing permissions) and/or disable or delete the WinTools service if it exists. Reboot. Start IE and open the Search sidebar to make sure nothing reinstalls itself. Run HijackThis again to see if anything snuck in somehow. If not, bask in the praise of your client. (I maintain many shared PCs and have spent a lot of time removing spyware/adware and in the process refining my procedure. My current procedure is fast...most of the time is spent waiting on the two reboots.) Optionally run an anti-adware/anti-spyware afterwards to clean up the files and registy entries since my method only prevents it from starting and doesn't delete files other than WinTools. If something does sneak in on you, search for it on the web to find out what it is and how to get rid of it.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-12-2004, 05:45 PM   #10
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

BMJ - Thanks for the tip on highjackthis. In fact, my brother in law just gave me his Dell 2400 because "something is wrong with it!".

350 pieces of adware/spyware, 12 viruses, and over 1001 infected files along with a stomped windows xp installation. In fact, they were not only all stomping all over the machine, they were stomping each other. I was particularly fond of the one that, when I started killing it off, popped up a window saying "windows was being damaged" and restarted the machine, reloading itself into memory. Nothing a little safe mode and a sharp stick didnt fix.

sigh.

Its going to be a busy evening.

Followed by a weekend tutorial with him, his wife, and their kids about NOT saying "yes" when something offers to install a screensaver, 'cool game', weather checker, or time setter.

I can see now how non technical folks can get fed up with computers real fast. There oughta be a law against this crap.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 04:18 AM   #11
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

Hey TH! Funny (in a way) post. Been there and done
that. And.............being a real "non-techie" I have almost taken a ball bat to our system many a time.
Probably would have if I didn't have so much fun
bantering with all of you.

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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:03 AM   #12
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

If your computer is hosed, just backup the important files, reformat the Hard Drive and start over. You'll be amazed at how clean and fast the machine is -- even an old one.

There are some pretty decent online backup services available (for example, xdrive.com, or ibackup.com)

I keep track of everything I install, and then clean the machine reformmating the HD once every 12 or 18 months.

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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:09 AM   #13
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

Good advice in general, and a good idea if you can get away with it.

This one had my brother and sister in laws email, files and settings, and their four kids stuff.

By the time I had the machine clean enough to do any kind of extraction, it was clean enough to use.

I hope.

Two of the viri kept reinfecting, but I killed those off finally.

So far it makes two scans of spybot, adaware and norton 2004 with no reported problems.

It is AMAZINGLY faster than when I first booted it.

On my main machine, I make a point of keeping it simple...all our stuff in one place, only the apps I use. I keep a pair of 'beater' machines, one a laptop, that I use to try out new stuff or tinker with things.

Really simplifies the computing life.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:18 AM   #14
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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If your computer is hosed, just backup the important files, reformat the Hard Drive and start over.
Ouch! * I've got 10 years worth of crap on my box, and I don't know what's important until it's gone.

Which brings me to one of the many reasons to loath microsoft. * If they had simply standardized separate locations for system data, user-specific data, and installed programs, I could easily back up the dynamic stuff created just for me and reinstall the crusty stuff written by the redmond softies, but noooooooo....
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:24 AM   #15
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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Ouch! * I've got 10 years worth of crap on my box, and I don't know what's important until it's gone.

Which brings me to one of the many reasons to loath microsoft. * If they had simply standardized separate locations for system data, user-specific data, and installed programs, I could easily back up the dynamic stuff created just for me and reinstall the crusty stuff written by the redmond softies, but noooooooo....
I've had to do this a few times. The solution is for to organize all your important stuff into one folder. I call mine Data Files. This is what I back up. Whenever I use sofftware that stores any data - Whether Microsoft Word, Or Quicken or my Digital Photos - I make sure that they are pointing to this Main Folder and usually create a Sub-Folder underneath it.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:28 AM   #16
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

The problem is that all of the "secret" configuration info associated with the programs you use on a daily basis is all over the place -- in the registry, in system folders, in app-specific directories, etc. Fooey!
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 11:39 AM   #17
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

I've been surprised and impressed by XP's "files and setting transfer wizard". You run this and direct its output to a file, ideally on another hard drive or removable media.

Then reinstall XP and your apps, then run it again to restore. It seems to carry back most settings, and anything it doesnt recognize it tries to copy back to a directory where it came from.

Seems to take registry stuff, individual settings, even display wallpaper.

I wouldnt bet on it carrying ten years worth of stuff from that old a machine though.

This is one reason why I keep a second hard drive in my primary machine and my primary beater. You can get 80-100+GB for $30-50 a pop. My original plan was to keep all my files on that so I could reinstall on the C: drive without bothering to move my data, but I ended up using it as a place to do a backup to, and to hold the files and settings wizard files.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 12:46 PM   #18
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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I've had to do this a few times. The solution is for to organize all your important stuff into one folder. I call mine Data Files. This is what I back up. Whenever I use sofftware that stores any data - Whether Microsoft Word, Or Quicken or my Digital Photos - I make sure that they are pointing to this Main Folder and usually create a Sub-Folder underneath it.
A good plan, but there are potential gotchas: email, bookmarks ("Favorites") and PDA sync data to name some biggies. Printer setup, some drivers, network setup, game save data, calendaring programs and the like can be issues depending on your complexity and use. I'm not discouraging the use of a central data store, but be aware not everything is in there unless you try really, really hard.

I haven't tried the XP settings sync TH spoke of, but it sounds interesting.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 12:53 PM   #19
 
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

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A good plan, but there are potential gotchas: email, bookmarks ("Favorites") and PDA sync data to name some biggies. Printer setup, some drivers, network setup, game save data, calendaring programs and the like can be issues depending on your complexity and use. I'm not discouraging the use of a central data store, but be aware not everything is in there unless you try really, really hard.

I haven't tried the XP settings sync TH spoke of, but it sounds interesting.

Well, I have recovered this way a few times and everything that I cannot recover is there. Drivers can be downloaded with no problem. All of the other stuff you mention I do backup and store there.
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware
Old 08-13-2004, 01:16 PM   #20
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Re: How to deal with adware and spyware

There are probably a thousand ways to do this, but here's my method. I did a clean install of XP, installed programs, drivers, settings, etc. Then a Norton Ghost backup.

For data I do what Cut-Throat does; I have two hard drives with identical data backups (I use a free program called Vice-Versa to verify they're identical).

Between the Ghost backup (programs, settings, drivers, etc.) and the duplicate central data backups, I can be up and running in less than an hour if I run into a disaster.
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