Spybot - Search & Destroy can detect and remove spyware of different kinds from your computer. Spyware is a relatively new kind of threat that common anti-virus applications do not yet cover. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if you browser start page has changed without your knowing, you most probably have spyware.
But even if you don't see anything, you may be infected, because more and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behaviour to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertisement companies. Spybot-S&D is free, so there's no harm in trying to see if something snooped into your computer, too :)
Spybot-S&D can also clean usage tracks, an interesting function if you share your computer with other users and don't want them to see what you worked on. And for professional users, it allows to fix some registry inconsistencies and extended reports. A full list of features is available on the website.
Official Website: www.SpyBot.info
Well, I am a paranoid security freak when it comes to my PC. In the early days (when Virii were mostly harmless and wouldn't do a total tap-dance on your machine) I got stung plenty of times, and once I started running a BBS things got worse. So, I learned to keep anti-virus software up to date, I learned to keep firewalls firmly locked tight, and basically to be as invisible as possible.
However, times they are a changing, and now just visiting a seemingly-innocent website will clog your machine with habit-tracking cookies, trojan downloads, dialers, and any number of registry alterations... and most of them happen in a completely invisible way.
"But I have the latest version of (various anti-virus applications) installed, so I'm safe, right?" Wrong. Most of this stuff won't trigger an anti-virus alert, since it isn't a self-replicating program. (Hell, even half the modern virii won't trigger AV alerts anymore!) This is where SpyBot-S&D comes into it's own.
SpyBot combs through your system, hunting for tell-tale cookies, codes, applications, html documents, and many other files, and will alert you to what is hiding in your system, furtively gathering information and sending it back to it's bosses who will target you with spam, junkmail, and even redirect your browsing habits... all in the name of Advanced Marketing.
After installing SpyBot, and updating it (vitally important!) I scanned my hacker-proof, virus-proof, paranoid's haven PC and found not one, not two, but *25* nasties had wormed their way in and set up residence. There was even a dialer hiding in there! (Not much use on an ADSL-connected system, but that's not the point.)
I was highly impressed with the extra features allowed to 'Advanced Users' giving some very impressive fine-tuning options and flexibility. I was also very impressed (and a little worried) by how much crap it found. I am just sorry I didn't install this earlier.
Overall, an astounding piece of work, and best of all, it's freeware. I loved the dedication in the documentation, and though I can't afford to make a donation, I did offer a prayer to my god for their happiness and long life together. She must indeed be a wonderful woman, and I sincerely wish you the very best life can offer.
Well done Patrick, keep it up. We all need people like you in our cyber-lives. You perform a great service, and it does not go un-noticed, nor un-appreciated.
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