How to Blitz Viruses and Spyware for Free

by JoHarrington

Let me introduce you to my old friends SUPERAntiSpyware and MalwareBytes' Anti-Malware. They do what they say on the tin.

I've run the gauntlet of firewalls and protection software in the past. I've loved and cherished some programs, right up to the moment when they fail.

I've learned the hard lesson that payment doesn't always equate the best anti-spyware or malware busters out there.

But there are two which have withstood the test of time.

I've used them both to find nasties hidden in my files, which were missed by more commercial programs. Which is why you should trust geeks over corporations.

This Can Only Be Used to Protect the Desk

How Do Hackers Protect From Viruses?

Mostly with their own software. But when they don't, they have some recommendations.

It was a very dark night.  By which I mean it was quite bright outside and hot enough to have the window wide open.  This served only to prove that real nature has no sense of pathetic fallacy.

From my perspective, it was a dark night. My browser had been hi-jacked and spyware was streaming through the breech.  I ran the firewall that was supposed to be saving me from this kind of thing. It froze, locked out by the Trojan that had also sneaked through.

If I hadn't been so indignant, I would have cried.  I threw everything in my not inconsiderable cyber-arsenal at it, but to no avail.

In the end I had to swallow my pride and head into certain corners of the internet.  I entered under a pseudonym and asked for help. 

When you want to buy a car, there's no-one better to ask than a mechanic.  If you want to learn which is the best, most authentic Chinese restaurant in town, you ask the homesick Chinese students.  If you want to know how to protect your system from hackers, then the same reasoning applies.

After the trolling had finally abated, I was given two recommendations.  They both worked. I regained control of my computer and I've never lost it since.

Buy Anti-Malware Programs

If you're uneasy about trusting free software (and those I'm recommending do have limitations), then these are the better paid options.
Anti-Spyware 3.0 AntiSpyware3.0-English

View on Amazon

Trend Micro Anti-Spyware 3.0 [Old Version]

View on Amazon

Sunbelt Counterspy AntiSpyware [Old Version]

View on Amazon

SUPERAntiSpyware: A Free Way of Destroying Everything Tracking You

When this program clears out your cookies, then you know that your computer is clean.

I love the name.  I giggle every time I run it or recommend it to someone else.  I'm smirking right now.

It just says it!  It's an anti-spyware and it's super.  Both in the bravo and the heroic sense.  Even the acronym is great.  It's the SAS for your PC. 

Image: SUPERAntiSpyware logo
Image: SUPERAntiSpyware logo

SUPERAnti-Spyware was one of the free programs recommended to me that night.  I've been personally using it ever since and I sneak it onto every computer that I'm called to fix. 

It doesn't just go after spyware, but trojans, adware, worms and other kinds of nasty infections. The updates seem far more ahead of the game than any other like software that I've used, but only for spy and adware.

I'm not recommending this for clearing out your heavy duty viruses.  But I am there in the fan-club for using it to speed up your machine, because it's kicked out all of those companies watching everything that you do.

Wikipedia on Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Spyware is often secretly install...

SUPERAntiSpyware Links

Downland SUPERAntiSpyware
This is available in free versions and professional purchased versions. It's also small enough to have a portable copy to carry on your pen drive.

CNET Review of SUPERAntiSpyware
Very light on resources. Good tradeoff between high detection and low drainage on CPU, RAM resources. Highly recommend.

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware: A Free Way of Preventing the Baddies from Getting into your PC

This one is used by so many people that I know. It's on my computer too. All of this with very good reason. It works.

Malwarebytes have never claimed to be a front line defence.  The program exists more in a consultancy role. You run it to see how well your main firewall or anti-virus worked.

That said, I think that it sells itself short. It performs much better than many of the front line, brand name defenders. I've consistently had times when it's this anti-malware which saved my computer.  It reacted before anything else did.

MalwareGeek's review video demonstrates this perfectly.  It's a little long, but very much worth watching.  He runs the program alongside his main anti-virus, just to see the results when he repeatedly attempts to infect his system.

MalwareGeek's Review of Malwarebytes

I do recommend visiting his YouTube channel and watching his test of all the anti-virus software. He actually bombards them with malware to see if they work!

I've also witnessed Malwarebytes' anti-malware work extremely well in another context.  I play a lot of Runescape and there was a period when some very convincing phishing e-mails were being sent around. Several friends fell for it and their accounts were taken.  Their PCs were loaded with keyloggers.

There was a lot of scope here to see what failed.  It became my standard first question, "What firewall have you got?"  

It was only Malwarebytes which found that keylogger.  For those already infected, I recommended that they download this.  The malicious program was uniformly found and destroyed.

As those who watched MalwareGeek's review will know, this anti-malware does not perform well with zero day viruses and trojans.  (Those only created within the past 48 hours.)  But beyond that, I personally think it's the best free program out there for doing what it does.

Wikipedia on Malware

Malware, short for malicious software, is software used or created by hackers to disrupt computer operation, gather sensitive information, or gain access to private computer systems. While it is often software, it can also appear in the for...

Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Link

Download Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Free Version
There are also professional versions to purchase too. There are some really cool features which are only available in the bought version. But the free one is great for second opinion scans.

More Freeware Programs That I Recommend

Computer housework is often forgotten, until the whole thing grinds to a chugging halt. A free, powerful piece of software helps clean out the gunk.
Frustrated by trying to fix a computer by telephone? Crossloop is a free must-have for family go-to geeks everywhere.
Don't you hate it when you ask a geek for help and their first question is about your computer's spec? This free program is the answer.
Updated: 03/09/2014, JoHarrington
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JoHarrington on 07/06/2012

I look forward to reading it. :)

Sam on 07/06/2012

Sure there is ;-) SY

JoHarrington on 07/05/2012

Is there an article here for you in describing what's gone so awry with it?

Sam on 07/05/2012

No, unfortunately I am not speaking of the tasty kind ;-(
See and
Major headache for me ;-( SY

JoHarrington on 07/05/2012

European Cookie Law? O.O

I'm assuming that you don't mean the round ones that we eat?

Sam on 07/05/2012

If they only would send the European Cookie law to the same place, sigh, SY

JoHarrington on 07/05/2012

Free is my favourite price tag of all!

I agree that cyber crime is the next biggie; but I will still resist all governmental attempts to use that to curb the freedom of the internet.

*still smirking about ACTA being defeated in the European Parliament yesterday.*

Tolovaj on 07/05/2012

Good info on spyware. I believe this sort of malicious software will be our major concern in next hundred years (but I am not sure how it will be called...). It looks just about everybody wants to know what everybody else is doing, than analyze this and use it to make some sort of profit.

I'll check this. The price for free version seems pretty affordable.


JoHarrington on 07/01/2012

Glad to have been of some assistance. :) She does know her stuff. She does this for a living!

Sam on 07/01/2012

Thanks Jo, that clears things up for me ;-) SY

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