Spyware

Spyware is a hot topic nowadays. In conjunction with adware, it causes system and browser instability and slowness. Besides that, it can be a security danger, and can reveal all kind of private information stalled on hard drives.

Advertising-supported software is a way to make money without the necessaty for the software
users to pay for this software; the advertisements that will pop up while using this kind of
software will pay for the costs. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Unfortunately, this is quite often not the case. Several adware based programs secretely lurk in
places from your pc where they shouldn’t occur; in the browsers history for example, and will
install components that will be loading advertisements. This happens even if you don’t run the
software that installed them. Even in case one uninstalls such a software, these components
will not be uninstalled and continue to do their work.
Many of these “adwares” – one could call them “spyware” by now –  work in ful stealth, and are
hardly detectable, sending privacy-related information from your system elsewhere. This is a
very serious matter.

The best one can do, is avoiding adware-software once and for all.

Nevertheless, the list of infested software grows by the day. We advice you to have a look at
infested software list and the list of list of spyware trojans. No doubt, you will be shocked!

How to find out if your pc has been infested with this malware?

Fortunalely, there are some freeware programs that will detect them, and offer you the
possibillity to remove them. Instead of naming them all, we just recommend using the best
at this very moment. That freeware program is called Adaware. A somewhat more
difficult program to handle spyware, but very worthwhile, is SpyBlocker. Both Adaware and Spyblocker work flawlessly in conjunction.

A perfect freeware double check for Ad-aware is Spybot Search & Destroy. This tool
comes with lots of very useful extra features.

Gaining popularity is the use of computer activity recording products. Although mainly in
use by companies to check out the computer behaviour from employees, this kind of
software becomes more and more common on personal pc’s – for example to spy on
spouses, children etc. SpyCop is (payware) software to detect spyware, but mainly to
detect and clean a personal system from these kind of computer activity recording
products, that could have been installed on your system without your knowledge or
approval. Spycop has a database of 300+ of such monitoring programs. It allows
inspection, renaming suspect files, save and print results. and comes with a LiveUpdate
function and detectable database.  We have tested Spycop v3.0 using a database of 50
monitoring programs; Spycop detected them all. Note: renaming the montoring software
“Spector” causes system problems. It is recommended to contact the authors from
SpyCop when you encounter Spector on your private system, as it is in any case of
doubt, before taking any action. We provide some screenshots from SpyCop here:
configuration – file options – scanner in action  suspicious file found (in this case: a false
positive) – info about the suspicious file. (Please press your browsers “back” button after
each screenshot).
SpyCop does the job no doubt. If this software is actually needed, depends totally on
your own situation and needs. Needless to say we consider using SpyCop only on your
privately owned systeem. We strongly oppose against installing it on a system that’s
not your own (as an employee at work for example).

Anti-keylogger is in our opinion an even better software solution to detect keystrokers.
Due to the sophisticated design, this software is able to detect known as well as unknown
keyloggers. We have performed a test on Anti-keylogger as well, and it passes with
flying colors. After installation, the user will be asked to set a password – a very nice
feature. After each system start up, a check will pop up. Starting up the program, the
main screen will appear. The status tab provides license information and possibility to
configure the heuristic scan level. The exclusions tab provides a possibility to exclude.
After pressing the scan tab a warning pops up to close all running applications first. After
doing so, a scan can be performed. The result will be displayed, ready to take further
(cleaning) action.
We are impressed by the performance and speed from Anti-keylogger. A trial version is
available from the vendors website (detection only).

Install MRU Blaster as well; a very fine small freeware software keeping your system
even more clean and private. We recommend Spyware Blaster (BTN mirror) and
SpywareGuard (BTN mirror) as well.

Finally, there’s a top notch tasks manager, being able to monitor/detect running
spyware. Have a look at our short review plus screen shots from WinTasks Pro