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anyone know a good program to permanently erase some stubborn spywares? I use Norton and armour2net both of which are useless. constantly bothered by annoying pop up windows and things being installed in my toolbars and even my bookmarks are not safe from the intrusion!

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Last Post by DMR
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Hi RaginT,

I've moved your post to our Viruses, Spyware, and other Nasties forum, as that's a more fitting forum for your question. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is that there is no single utility which can protect you from all of the numerous (and constantly growing) threats out there.

In the threads in this forum you'll find a lot of information on the various infections that exist and the different tools you can use to fight them. Here are some specific links and suggestions to start with:

In general:

1. Use Windows Automatic Update function to keep your system as up-to-date as possible with the most current Microsoft security and bug fixes.

2. Stop using Internet Explorer as your web browser. Because IE is so closely tied into the Windows operating system itself and contains so many security flaws, switching to another browser such as Netscape, Firefox, or Opera will greatly reduce the avenues through which spyware/adware/hijackers/etc. can infect your computer.

3. Install preventative utilities such as SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard (links are in my sig below), especially if you absolutely have to continue using Internet Exploder. These utilities protect areas of your system known to be vulnerable to malicious attacks. For detection and removal of "nasties", use Ad Aware and SpyBot (links also in my sig) as your first line of defence.

4. Tighten up some of Internet Explorer's existing, default settings to make it more secure. Some info on that can be found here: http://tomcoyote.org/ieoe.php

5. Obviously-install a good anti-virus program and enable its "auto-protect" and email-scanning features.

6. Install a firewall program such as Zone Alarm (from Zone Labs), or the "Internet Security" packages offered by Symantec and McAfee.

7. None of your utilities are of much good if you don't check for updates frequently; updates for anti-spyware/anti-virus programs can be released as often as ever two or three days.


Informative Linkage:

http://www.daniweb.com/techtalkforums/thread5690.html
http://aumha.org/a/parasite.htm
http://www.spywarewarrior.com/rogue_anti-spyware.htm

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You're welcome. :)

If you can give us specific details about the pop-up, toolbars, etc. in question, I'm sure we give you specific advice on how to remove them if they prove to be persistent.

You might want to post a HijackThis log for us to review. Here's a "canned answer" on HJT and its usage:


Download HijackThis:

http://www.majorgeeks.com/download3155.html

Once downloaded, follow these instructions to install and run the program:

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Create a folder outside of any Temp/Temporary folders for HJT and move it there now. A folder such such as C:\HijackThis or C:\Spyware Tools\HijackThis will do.

One of the normal steps in eliminating malicious programs is to entirely delete the contents of all Temp folders. Given that, if HijackThis (and other data that you care about) is living in those Temp folders, it will be erased along with everything else!
Temp/Temporary folders are just that- Temporary. They are not meant for permanent storage, as their contents are often delete in the course of troubleshooting, by running disk clean-up utilities, etc.

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Before fixing problems with HijackThis, you must make sure to close/quit ALL instances of your web browser! HijackThis cannot fully perform its fixes while browsers are running.

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Run HijackThis, but do not have HJT fix anything yet; only have it scan your system! Once the scan is complete, the "Scan" button will turn into an option to "Save log...". Save the log in the folder you created for HiajckThis, open the log in Windows Notepad, and cut-n-paste the entire contents of the log here. The log contents will tell us a lot about what "nasties" have crept into your system, and once we analyse the log we can tell you what to do from there.

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