From what ive seen Spybot finds some stuff, but it sucks in general. Adaware seems to do the trick for me. Spyhunter? Ive seen it install more spyware then it does remove it.phrancis said:Im a digital media instructor at a small private computer arts college and we deal with lots of new PC users that get stuck with all this crap. If you wanna get rid of all that spyware stuff, use spybot, spyhunter, adaware, cwshredder, and highjack this. All these things are freeware from good hackers, but each one alone wont catch everthing. Also make sure all these things are updated before you scan.
next step: use that firewall and a good antivirus program and make sure thats all updated too. I went years without any antivirus software and was just fine. Those days are over! You need protection nowadays. Make sure you get all ms windows updates ASAP as well.
Last step: some of that crap will try come back through internet explorer (IE). Most websites are optimized for IE because its the most popular browser right now, but guess what... most malicious "highjacker" type websites use the security flaws in IE to hack into your operating system too. Go download mozilla/firefox as your browser - it dosent have the same backdoor security holes as IE and it works just the same. In fact the whole school has installed mozilla as its default classroom browser!
About your last step, unless your completely computer illiterate theres no reason to get a different browser. IE cant be hijacked unless you accept some sort of certificate or download some file that installs itself. Mozilla and Firefox are way over-rated IMO. Ive been using IE for a while now and ive never had any problems with hijacks.