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If new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install are seen, or if your browser start page has changed unknowingly, you most probably have spyware. But even if you don't see anything, you may still be infected. More and more spyware is emerging that is silently tracking your surfing behavior to create a marketing profile of you that will be sold to advertising companies.

Wikipedia definition: Spyware

Our results show a close race between Ad-Aware & Spybot S&D Spybot taking 23% of the vote and Ad-Aware taking 20% in our 2006 Member Choice Poll put up by wrath457

Ad-Aware provides advanced protection from known Data-mining, aggressive advertising, Parasites, Scumware, selected traditional Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser hijackers, and tracking components, as described on their site. Also the Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition also has the capability to scan and list Alternate Data Streams (ADS) in NTFS enabled volumes.

The freeware* version of Ad-Aware is compatible with:
Microsoft Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003

Spybot - Search & Destroy detects and removes a multitude of adware files and modules from your computer. Spybot S&D cleans programs and Web-usage tracks from your system, which is especially useful if you share your computer with other users. Modules chosen for removal can be sent directly to the included file shredder, ensuring complete elimination from your system. For advanced users, it allows you to fix registry inconsistencies related to adware and to malicious program installations. The handy online-update feature ensures that Spybot always has the most current and complete listings of adware, dialers, and other uninvited system residents.

*Free for personal use
Supported platforms:
•Win 95 updated winsock necessary
•Win 98 & ME Fully functioning
•NT & 2000may need administrator rights for some functions
•XP - may need administrator rights, (XP has these by default)
•Win XP (AMD64) - may need administrator rights for some functions (no problems found, still in testing)
•Windows PE - Windows Preinstallation Environment is supported since 1.4 details
•Mac OS & Mac OSX & Linux not yet supported:

Our next runner-up:

SpywareBlaster by Javacool was third with 13.7% of the poll in member choice.

Many indicated they use a combination of programs to fight spyware & malware. Some utilized the multi-featured real-time protection implemented with some of these programs for the prevention as well as cure.

The reasons we gave for our choices :

•Freeware/shareware vs. commercial software
•Real-time resident protection offered
•Ability to choose what is included in scans
•Favorable frequent updates to definition files

Some other choices we reviewed:

Windows Defender
Ewido Anti-Spyware
HPGurus Host File
Spyware Block List File
(SpySubtract)Trend Micro
Spyware Doctor
McAfee AntiSpyware
SpywareStopper 8.1
MVPS Hosts

Bottom line:

Most of our users polled used several of these products simultaneously
What some programs found, others did not & vice-versa
All the more reason for many to believe in that layered approach.

NOTE: - links verified as of 8/13/06 ~ 2005 poll here: »[POLL] Spyware Removal & Prevention Programs

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by lilhurricane See Profile
last modified: 2007-10-27 14:29:57