What is Malware?


These are some recommendations that will significantly decrease the chances that you will have problems with malware in the future:

1) Regularly go to http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com and download all the "critical updates" for Windows, including the latest version of Internet Explorer. This can patch many of the security holes through which attackers can gain access to your computer. You should also turn on the Windows automatic update feature.

2) In order to protect yourself against spyware, you should consider installing and running the following free programs:

Ad-Aware SE
A tutorial on using Ad-Aware to remove spyware from your computer may be found here.

Spybot-Search & Destroy
A tutorial on using Spybot to remove spyware from your computer may be found here. Please also remember to enable Spybot's "Immunize" and "TeaTimer" features.

Microsoft Anti-Spyware

A tutorial on using SpywareBlaster to prevent spyware from ever installing on your computer may be found here.

A tutorial on using SpywareGuard for realtime protection against spyware and hijackers may be found here.

Keeping these programs up-to-date and running them regularly can prevent a great deal of spyware hassle.

3) Please consider using an alternate browser. Mozilla's Firefox browser is fantastic; it is much more secure than Internet Explorer, immune to almost all known browser hijackers, and also has the best built-in popup blocker (as an added benefit!) that I have ever seen. If you are interested, Firefox may be downloaded from here:

4) Also make sure to run your antivirus software regularly, and to keep it up-to-date.

5) Finally, consider maintaining a firewall. A good free firewall is ZoneAlarm.
A tutorial on understanding and using firewalls may be found here.




There are hundreds of new spyware cases opened each day - Many people will get missesd and overlooked. To assist in cleaning up your system perform the following steps:

  1. How to Remove CoolWebSearch with CoolWeb Shredder <= Please click on this link for instructions on how to download and use CoolWebSearch Shredder which will help remove a CWS infection on your computer. Make sure you close all programs and windows before running it and be sure to click on the "Fix" button.
  2. Run either of these free online virus scans.
  3. How to use Ad-Aware to remove Spyware <= Please check this link for instructions on how to download, install and then use adaware. Run this program as soon as possible.
  4. How to use Spybot to remove Spyware <= Please check this link for instructions on how to download, install and then use spybot. Run this as soon as possible as it may catch things that adaware misses.
  5. Download, install and run Tojan Hunter (Trial)
  6. Can you please download HijackThis from this link, install it into C:\HJT. Run it, click on scan, save log and please post your entire log into a NEW message for analysis. If you are working on an existing topic, please post the log into that topic and do not start a new topic.

Most problems will be resolved by following these steps. Posting a log after this has been completed will assist the experts in cleaning up any remaining problems on your computer.



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