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About spyware and malware



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Joe Pinedo is A Plus certified

What is spyware and how do I get rid of it Joe ! ?

*disclaimer (please read first!)*

Spyware is variously referred to as "Malware," "Adware," and "Scumware," among other things. Basically, spyware can be defined as a class of software that is designed to take over various aspects of your computer. It does this in order to generate profit for unscrupulous people or businesses or to use your computer for various illegal or immoral reasons. Spyware is generally installed by you, the user, either wittingly or unwittingly. Trojans and Viruses are either installed by you or installed by taking advantage of security exploits that exist in Microsoft Windows. This article will focus on Windows, since spyware is not a phenomenon that has hit the Mac or Linux world yet. Consumers with relatively large disposable incomes. Spyware was born

(above taken from

Now i've worked on several.......wait....MANY systemz with Malware....I discuss that the most cause it seems to be the worst......obviously. So please read below and I hope you remember some of it, cause trust me, you can save yourself ALOT of headaches and $$ by not having to pay to have it repaired......let the reading begin!


    Keyloggers- As the name suggests, these programs record every keystroke the victim makes. This is one of the most sinister types of spyware as crucial information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers etc are vulnerable to theft.

    Spyware/Adware- Programs that track your personal details and transmit them back to advertisers. This usually involves the tracking and sending of data and statistics via a server installed on the user's PC and the use of your Internet connection in the background. I usually run SpyBot....and Adware 6 for starters when it comes to basics....then I move on from that point.

    Dialers- A program that (secretly) changes your dialup connection setting so that instead of calling your local internet provider, your Pc calls some very expensive 900 or international phone number. I have seen this on alot of systems i've worked on, including my neighbors one time. Coupld hundred dollars were added to their phone bill.....and when I took a look at their PC...boy where they embarassed when I saw the pictures. Dialers have also been known to turn your modem speaker off so you cant hear it dial on its own....keep that in mind next time you hear it dialing on its own.

    BHO (Browser Helper Object)- A program that runs up every time you start up your internet browser. These parasite applications are used to monitor which adverts you see on the web and to track your surfing habits.

    Browser Hijackers- Program that changes some settings in your browser.
    Changing your "search" page to pass all searches to a certain pay-per-search site
    Changing your default home page to the company page (most of often porn sites). Transmitting URLs viewed toward the company server. Especially when it takes the "GENERAL" tab away inside properties of Internet Explorer, its a REGISTRY fix....if this has happened to you, here are some steps, but FIRST BACKUP your REGISTRY prior to doing anything mentioned here. Steps i'm showing are for ADVANCED TECHIEz......oh yeah i'm not responsible for any results from this. I've done it many timez with no issues.....but I gotta mention it to my butt.

A registry restriction has been set. Search your registry, using Regedit, to find the word "GeneralTab". Edit any example, changing from a setting of 1 (the number one) to 0 (the number zero). The keys affected should be:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel

    WARNING: A missing general tab is a symptom of serious infection in my opinion.

    This one amigos by far is the worst in my many times i've workon PC's that were seriously infected.....I can only say its a headache when it doesnt get treated...sorta like needing a Dr's help.....he he he....of course I would be the Dr....or surgeon, and my tools would be the great tools listed below and then some......oh yeah and whatever tekie knowledge I maybe have.

    I also was told that PRIOR to installing a "questionable" program you could possible check SpyWareGuide


Now this is another way that some webpages will force an executeable to run. Sorta like forcing you to download something without you knowing. Or it will popup a box asking you if you want to "run" it or not. Well that right there can be where it all starts from. An example would be like when you go to Micro$oft for an "update" when you get there a box will popup and when you click "yes" it then installs an "Active X control which will scan your system and check for any kind of updates you might need. Its very helpful and good in this case. But remember others can do this for the "dark side" if you will. So one recommendation would be in my own opinion is to not use Internet Explorer....instead try another browser, like Opera, or Mozilla. Just "GOOGLE" it and you'll be able to find more information and where to download'em at.


I find that the following tools are quite helpful....

First of all....I HIGHLY suggest some sort of a "firewall"....ok you've heard the expression or people talking bout their "firewall" and stuff like that. There are two kinds.....a "hardware" and "software" firewall.

A hardware firewall is just that - a box that sits between you and the internet that performs the filtering function. Traffic that is filtered out never reaches your computer. Broadband routers perform the function of a firewall quite nicely, and are typically what I recommend. The downside for a hardware devices is that most will not filter outgoing traffic.

A software firewall is a program that runs on your computer, and at the very lowest level, monitors your network traffic. The firewall prevents filtered traffic from getting through to the operating system. All network traffic reaches your computer, but the firewall prevents your system from actually doing anything with it.

The good news is that if you're running Windows XP, you already have a firewall built-in. It's a simple matter of turning it on to get the protection you're looking for.

So next are some lil utilities that i've used......numerous times on customers and for my own personal computers at times. Peer Guardian is no longer, but was a very kewl mini firewall.

  • Spybot Search and Destroy
  • Adware 6
  • CWShredder

    Now when getting some of these make sure you get them from THEIR OWN website, cause there are some places which offer the download but from some reports.....its all another trick. The softwares above I have linked to their site directly. And make sure you read the instructions for ANY software you download.

    My personal favorites which I use routinely are listed below...hence the banner
    Get Firefox

    PC PITSTOP I use every so often just to run tests on my laptop

PC Pitstop, free PC tune-up!

Methlab is the maker of Peer Guardian, small yet healthy firewall. But the link doesnt seem to work anymore but i'll keep this banner up in the meantime...just incase you wanna "google" it and maybe find it, if it becomes active. Was one of my favorite mini firewalls.

Lavasoft is the maker of Adware 6, spyware removal tool

Spybot is another adware/spyware removal tool

Wanna test how fast your DSL or CABLE internet speed really is?
Check your internet speed

This one is called CLEAN UP came on a recommendation from a co-worker, but please NOTE that there is a setting that can delete your browser bookmarks! Aside from that its fast, clean and does a nice tuneup on your system and definately frees up alot ohard drive space depending how bogged down your machine is. After installing check around the OPTIONS area and check out the setting you can apply.

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