Protect Windows from Spyware - Spybot

Protect your Windows from Spyware - Using Spybot-Search & Destroy

Spybot - Search & Destroy has a long established history of spyware removal (12 years to date). Spybot is a free program which will find and remove computer parasites from your Windows System. Spybot has been recently updated to integrate fully with Windows VISTA protection (as of version 1.5.2)!

Spybot is quite easy to use. There are several advanced features in Spybot to further automate this program to get rid of spyware, adware, malware and trojans. For now, let us begin to get the basic installation of Spybot completed.

Installing Spybot - Search & Destroy

Spybot is a free download from this official Spybot website link (outside this site)

Double-click on the completed download to start the installation. The setup will prompt you to select the following additional tasks.

Spybot additional installation tasks

Selecting Additional Installation Tasks

In this part of setup I recommend you place a check Use Internet Explorer protection (SDHelper) but do NOT select the default Use system settings protection (TeaTimer). The SDHelper option will help protect your web browser from undesirable changes that parasites make.

Notes: I do not advise checking to use TeaTimer as many client's will be technically challenged by some of resulting messages that TeaTimer pops up while you work. It can be annoying and frustrating because you have no idea how to respond. So leave the Spybot TeaTimer option OFF - unless you understand what is a possible threat!

Now click the Next button and then the Install button. This will install Spybot on your computer. Spybot will begin to download some important updates. When this is complete you may click on finish.

Completing the Spybot - Search & Destroy Wizard

Starting Spybot - for the first time

Spybot will now start - for the first time. The Spybot wizard will prompt you with the following steps:

  1. Create registry backup: Action = Skip this step and just click Next ( I have never found it essential)
  2. Update Spybot: Action = Click on Search for Updates button. After download is finished press the "Next" button
  3. Immunize this system: Action = The immunize function helps to prevent known malicious scripts from running automatically when visiting some unsafe web sites. You may click immunize, then the "Next" button.

Now Spybot will prompt you to start the program. Click on the Start using this program button.

Using Spybot - Search & Destroy

Preparing the program

Before using Spybot you should check for updates. New threats appear constantly so you should have Spybot check for new updates at least once per week or, have Spybot check for updates each time you run it (see later advanced settings for Spybot).

You can manually have Spybot check for updates by clicking on the Update button. The Update screen will appear. Click on the Search for Updates button. The program will find one of several sources, and advise you if any updates are available. On the list of items, tick all the updates listed. The choose Download Updates. Spybot will be automatically restarted if needed in order to apply new changes. If new updates are not yet available, this list will remain empty and "Download Updates" will not appear.

Checking for problems

With the latest updates applied, you can now have Spybot scan your system for problems. Just click on the Check for problems button on Spybot's main screen. Spybot will take about 20 - 60 minutes to check the entire Windows System. Spybot will proceed to examine the Windows registry, cookies, all current running processes, files and directories. During the scan Spybot may being to show a list of found problems in the search list.

Spybot reports detected malicious objects

After the scan is over, the program will display the list of all the recognized problems.

Red coloured items are actual [severe] parasites that need to be completely removed from the Computer system.

Green coloured items are related to cookies and are records of your internet tracks. It is recommended to fix green entries.

Fixing found problems

To have Spybot remove the found problems select the Fix selected problems button. The listed parasites will now be completely removed from the computer system. In a few severe cases Spybot may prompt you to allow Spybot to run on next Windows startup. Reply "Yes", when this occurs and on the next startup Spybot will automatically, before other applications and try to remove the remaining problems.

Immunizing your Internet browser

Once Spybot has removed Spyware, it is a good idea to to click on the Immunize Immunize button. This action will allow Spybot to block against the return of the same Spyware problems. Note: It is best to click on the Immunize button TWICE. At that point Spybot should indicate that you have zero unprotected items!

Spybot Immunize Feature

Using Spybot - Search & Destroy in the Advanced mode

Spybot may be used in two modes: default and advanced. The default mode was used in the previous installation (above). There are some powerful options available only from Spybot's Advanced Mode. To enable this mode, click on the Mode menu and select Advanced mode.

In advanced mode Spybot has some helpful settings that can be enabled, such as scheduled scanning (at a set time) and automatically updating and removing problems when Spybot is run.

Running Spybot on a schedule

To configure Spybot S&D to run automatically on a set schedule:

  1. Open Spybot
  2. Select the Mode menu and select Advanced mode.
  3. Under Settings select Scheduler.
  4. Click the Add... button to schedule a new time
  5. Check the Fix problems after scheduled scan. Close program after finishing schedule options.
  6. Click the Edit button.
  7. In the textbox that points to the program to be run, add /autoupdate /autoimmunize just before where it says /autocheck.
  8. Click on the Schedule tab.
  9. Click New to add a time for it to be run.
  10. Edit your scheduled time to your liking.
  11. Click OK.

Recommended Advanced Settings

I suggest you select the following Advanced Settings for Spybot V1.5x:

Spybot Settings 1

Spybot Settings 2

Spybot Settings 3

Spybot - Search & Destroy is a very effective spyware cleaner. I have installed it on thousands of client computers aver the last 10 years! The very most important thing is to use it - regularly!

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