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Spyware Protection & Removal -- On this page, we offer links to articles, software reviews and resources to help you fight spyware that includes what is sometimes called predatory advertising or parasitic adware.


Comparative Reviews

  • An Arsenal to Combat Spyware -- Spybot Search & Destroy, Ad-aware, Norton Antivirus, PC-cillin and AVG Anti-Virus, Michelle Delio, Wired, June 25, 2004

  • Spyware Removal Tools Compared -- Ad-aware, Spybot, SpySweeper, SpyHunter & SpyRemover, Team Flexbeta, June 17, 2004

  • Stop direct marketers from spying on you -- Spybot, Ad-aware, PestPatrol, McAfee AntiSpyware & Spysweeper, Robert Vamosi, CNet, May 17, 2004

  • Bigger Threats, Better Defense, Mary Landesman, PC World, May 11, 2004, includes testing of anti-spyware from Aluria, InterMute, Lavasoft, McAfee, Panda, Spybot, Norton & PC-cillin

  • Spy Stoppers, Cade Metz, PC Magazine, March 2, 2004: editor's choice SpySweeper 2.2; review also included Ad-aware Plus, Spyware Eliminator, Spyware/Adware Remover, McAfee Internet Security 2004, Norton Internet Security 2004, Panda Platinum Internet Security, PC-cillin Internet Security 2004, Pestpatrol, Spybot Search & Destroy, SpyCop, SpyGuard, SpyHunter, and Spy Remover.
  • Pest Zappers, best buys Norton AntiVirus, Spybot Search & Destroy, and Ad-aware, reviews included eight anti-virus programs -- Boomerang Software EXtendia AntiVirus AVK Professional, F-Secure Anti-Virus 2003, GeCad Software RAV AntiVirus Desktop for Windows 8.6, Kaspersky Anti-Virus Personal 4, Network Associates McAfee VirusScan 7 Home Edition, Panda Software Antivirus Platinum 7, Symantec Norton AntiVirus 2003, and Trend Micro PC-cillin 2003; and four anti-spyware programs -- Lavasoft Ad-aware Plus 6, PepiMK Software Spybot Search & Destroy 1.2, PestPatrol Software PestPatrol 4.2, and Webroot Software Spy Sweeper 1.5. Scott Spanbauer, PC Magazine, May 29, 2003.
  • Spyware: It's Lurking on Your Machine, editor's choice SpyBot, comparative review of Ad-aware, Spyware Eliminator, BPS Spyware/Adware Remover, Internet Cleanup, PestPatrol, QuickClean, Spy Remover & Spy Sweeper, Cade Metz, PC Magazine, April 22, 2003

Step #1: Tools to Find & Remove Spyware

Ad-aware, Lavasoft, one freeware & two payware versions

Earthlink Spy Audit free online service.

Spybot Search & Destroy, PepiMK Software, freeware; donations are encouraged.

  • WinPlanet review, Forrest Stroud, May 19, 2004
  • InfoInfra review, Courtney Gallimore, February 24, 2004
  • ZDNet UK review, Robert Vamosi, February 18, 2003
  • SpyBot S & D review, Craig Rashad, net-integration, June 17, 2002
  • Web User review, Susan Denim, March 26, 2002

Spysweeper, Webroot, $30

Step #2: Tools to Block Installation of Spyware

Javacool freeware (hosted by

  • SpywareBlaster -- SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed.
  • SpywareGuard -- Provides a real-time protection solution against spyware in addition to SpywareBlaster's method. An anti-virus program scans files before you open them and prevents execution if a virus is detected. SpywareGuard does the same thing, but for spyware. It also features download protection and browser hijacking protection.

Step #3: Tools to Block Spyware from Phoning Home (if you need it)

SpyBlocker $20 blocks the activity of Spyware, Ads, Cookies, Web Bugs, Scripts, Worms, Scanners and Adware while you use your computer.

Resource Sites

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