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Old 10-15-2009, 12:01 AM   #1
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Default Personal Computer Security Issues

The Threat

Spyware lurks all over the Internet. It can be embeded into web-based video players, games, or Active-X controls that install through either user action or operating system expliots. Such exploits are often distributed through adult content, online games, and children's websites. However, even rogue weather sites have occasionally distributed spyware. It can be also incorporated into executable file such as serial number generators, pirated software, or any "off brand" software package that is offered for download. Fake anti-virus packages are a common form of spyware. These software packages can be distributed through website or peer to peer file sharing.

Why do they do it?

The spyware may allow others to remotely control your computer, record keystrokes & passwords, send spam email from your computer, perform denial of service attacks, or transmit your sensitive documents. They may want your credit card information. They may want to use a non-black listed IP address to send spam from or perform denial of service attacks. They may simply be nosey and want to see what's on your computer. They may want to convince you that you have a virus and need to registrer software to remove it. Whatever the reason spyware often doesn't perform even as the authors intended and often interferes with the computer's functioning.

How to avoid spyware

Although any webserver could be infected or compromised, sticking to legitimate sites will reduce encounters with spyware. It is not always easy to determine which sites are legitimate. Sites of known institutions ending in .edu generally carry quality information and should be reasonably safe. Likewise, major television broadcasters such as Discovery Channel, your local news station, and Disney will generally be much safer than a random web link to an unknown entity.

Extra toolbars, gadgets, and "free downloads" should be avoided unless they are truly needed for some purpose. Even if they do not contain spyware they may interfere with normal browser functioning. If a function they offer is required for some reason, ensure the files are downloaded from the most credible source possible. A web search to see if other users are happy with the product is also advised.

Most Anti-Virus now checks for spyware as well. Due to the sheer amount of spyware and the determination of the authors to bypass security software, no one package can catch everything. AVG Anti-Virus is a free anti-virus software package that seems to be a reasonable job of detecting spyware. The professional version of Malware Bytes also includes a real time spyware checking component. Additionally, some website blacklists are available to help you avoid spyware distributors. This is built into SpyBot Search and Destroy and is known as the Internet Explorer Immunization function. Note that I do not recommend the Spybot tea timer as it tends to be annoying. MVPS blacklist can be downloaded and added to one's HOSTS file.

O, No, I've got Spyware. What Now?

Once spyware is installed it can be very difficult to remove. Malware Bytes does a very good job of removing most forms of spyware. Spybot can sometimes remove an additional object or two missed by Malware Bytes. If Spyware tools refuse to install, run, or update a rootkit may have been installed by the spyware. The best tool to remove a rootkit is Combo Fix. Please see the Malware Bytes Forum for a current download location. Sometimes the file must be renamed combo-fix.com before it can be successfully installed. Generally, after Combo Fix removes the rootkit Malware Bytes can be installed and used to remove any leftover spyware objects. Sometimes running the tools in Safe Mode also helps.

Although there are many spyware help forums, I highly recommend the Malware Bytes Forum for help removing specific spyware objects and for further information on the subject.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:18 AM   #2
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They wanted me to check a box for location so I put it into the spy bot folder. I can find that. Should I click onto the desktop and quick launch icon? Don't know what any of this computer talk is............
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:18 AM   #3
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I'm on hold with them until I get an answer.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:19 AM   #4
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Yes you can click both. It just refers to where the icon for launching the program will be located. The only default item I uncheck is the Tea Timer as I find it constantly pops up with often useless information. The quick launch is where the icons along the task bar are located (usually at the bottom of the screen by default).
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:20 AM   #5
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Ok
I'll go back to them.
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:22 AM   #6
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Does this look right?
It wont screw up my spy bot by putting it there will it?


Destination location:
C:\Program Files\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Start Menu folder:
Spybot - Search & Destroy\Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware

Additional tasks:
Additional icons:
Create a desktop icon
Create a Quick Launch icon
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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Usually the destination is Spybots Own Folder. It can probably run in the Malware bytes Folder but it could overwrite a file. I could suggest changing the Destination folder to c:\program files\spybot or something, but if it's already installed try running both spybot and malware bytes and if they both run you should be OK
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:26 AM   #8
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I did not continue yet
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:27 AM   #9
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It had boxes to check not an area to write in
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Old 10-15-2009, 12:27 AM   #10
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I'll see if I can back up and copy that page
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