INTRODUCTION - Spyware, browser hijacker, virus or trojans?
It does not matter what they are or what name they have. You don't need to know what they are to fix them. All of these pesky pieces of invasive software produce certain characteristics that tell you something is not right -- unwanted pop-ups or advertisements, very slow PCs, strange browser results, etc.
The best way to find help is to search the web using the "symptom". For example, I once had a virus that kept telling me my machine was at risk and that I need to buy SpySherrif to remove the problem. WRONG... they just told me what I need to search for! At Google I used the following search: remove spysherriff -- that's all it took to get started. Then, stick to the top results. If you dig too deep in search results you may the spyware instead of the removal tool!
Anyway... below are some of the best (FREE for the most part) spyware and browser hijacker removal tools we have found.
Somewhat of an advanced tool, but the BEST at determining if you have spyware or a browser hijacker. There are many tech forums where you can post your Hijackthis log and get free help. Get it here Download Hijackthis Spyware Tool. One of the spyware forums that will let you post your HijackThis log can be found at community.trendmicro.com.
Simply the best at removing Coolwebsearch trojans and their varients. These trojans are some of the toughest to remove and CWShredder does a great job. Get it here Download CWShredder.
Removes the spyware called SpySheriff when nothing else will. Get it here SmitRem. Also makes easy work of these nasty malware programs AntiVirusGold, Crystalys media, P.S.Guard, PSGuard, Search Maid, Security IGuard, Security Toolbar, SpyAxe, SpySheriff, SpyTrooper, SpywareStrike, Video iCodec, Virtual Maid, Winhound. For an up-to-date list of SmitRem capabilities see this list of spyware removed.
Does not actually remove spyware, but it makes quick work of all the temporary files that tend to make spyware and hijackers tough to remove. Get CleanUp here.
Ad-Aware Personal & SpyBot Search & Destroy
Long time battle between Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy -- end result is that you need both! The combination of the two does great removal on most easy to remove malware / spyware programs. Get Ad-Aware here and SpyBot Search & Destroy here.
Get Spyware help at a Forum
http://forums.spywareinfo.com is a great start. Another is at http://www.techsupportforum.com/.
Recommended Reading for the
Article on Malware (malicious Software) From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Malware ("malicious software") is any software developed for the sole purpose of doing harm to
computer systems. Malware classifications can be based on various criteria: how it gets executed,
how it spreads or what it does to the infected computer.