INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING SPYWARE CLEANING TOOLS
When done, click here to return to KCS Computers.

If you do not have these programs, they can be downloaded from Cnet's Download.com

For information and hints on how to avoid Spyware and Malware, please click Here.

All of the spyware cleaning tools should be updated each time before running the scans.
CWShredder and ATF-Cleaner do not have any new updates available at this time.
(Note: When updating the programs below, you may see messages from your firewall asking about access.
Say ALLOW in all cases.)

Vista and Windows 7 users: These programs will run (and install) better if you right click on the icon and choose "Run as administrator". Then click "Continue" on the User Account Control window that pops up. Otherwise the program may be able to FIND the spyware, but not REMOVE the spyware. (Don't ya just love Vista?)

 

ATF-Cleaner
Open program.
Put a checkmark in the last box marked "Select All"
Click the button that says "Empty Selected"
When it is done running, a box will pop up labeled Done. Click OK and exit program.
Program can be run often, even everyday.

 

Spy-Bot Search & Destroy 1.5 & 1.6
Open program.
If a window opens asking about deleting Temporary Files and has a countdown, say Yes.
Click on the "Search for Updates" button.
Choose a download Place. (I use BNFileForum)
Place a checkmark next to all listed updates.
Click the Download Button.
When done, click the Exit button. (Computer MAY need to restart, but not usually.)
Anytime a message comes up about Ad-Aware conflict, click the Ignore button.
Click on "Check for Problems" (Upper middle of screen)
Wait for scan to run.
When done scanning, click "Fix Selected Problems".
Click "Yes".
Click "OK".

You're done! Click the X in the upper right corner to close Spy-Bot.
(Say NO to any messages about upgrading or using Spybot ver 2.)

Malwarebytes ver 2 and up
Open Program.
Ignore red "x"s. They will want you to try or buy full version.
On left side- click "Update Now".
When done, click green "Scan Now" button.
After scan, if anything was found, There will be a message in the lower left. X it off,
then click the "Quarentine All" button in the lower right.
May need to reboot, otherwise, close program.

Malwarebytes Older ver
Open Program.
Choose on the 3rd tab labeled "Update".
Click on the button marked "Check for Updates".
Click "OK" when updates are finished.
Choose the 1st tab labeled "Scanner".
Make sure the dot is in front of "Perform full scan" and click the "Scan" button.
On the pop up, click "Start Scan". Checkmarks should not need to be changed.
Click the "Show Results" button.
Click on the "Remove Selected" button.
Reboot the computer if needed.

SuperAntiSpyware
Open Program.
Click on the button marked "Check for Updates".
When done, click on the "Done" button.
You can also check for updates by right clicking the tray icon and then on "Check for updates"
Click on the "Scan your Computer" button.
On the right side, select all hard drives, especially "C:\".
On the let side choose "Perform Complete Scan"
Click "Next". When scan is done, click "OK" on summery screen.
Make sure all items are checked and click "Next".
Click "Yes" to reboot if needed, or click "Finish".

CWShredder
Open the program.
Click the "Fix" button.
Program will automatically scan for and remove certain types of spyware.
When done, (takes about 20 to 40 seconds), it will show if anything was found.
If anything was found, reboot computer and run again.

OLDER VERSIONS BELOW:

Spy-Bot Search & Destroy 1.4
Open program.
Click on the "Check for Updates" button.
Program will find and list updates.
Click on each update listed to put a check mark in each box.
Click on "Download Updates".
Updates will download.
When done, click on "Search and Destroy" in the upper left corner.
Click on "Check for Problems" (Upper middle of screen)
Wait for scan to run.
When done scanning, click "Fix Selected Problems".
Click "Yes".
Click "OK".

You're done! Click the X in the upper right corner to close Spy-Bot.

 

Ad-Aware AE (for Windows XP and up)
Open Program
Click on "Update" button, yellow arrow over globe left side of page.
Program will update automatically. When done, program MAY close.
If it does not reopen on its own, open program again.
Click green "Scan Now" button.
Choose "Full Scan" tab in middle.
Click "Scan Now" button at bottom of page.
When scan is complete, click the "Perform Actions Now" button.
If the Threatworks window opens, Click on "Submit".
Click the X in the upper right corner to close Ad-Aware.

(Note: the "Register" button is ONLY used if you want to purchase the full version.)

 

Ad-Aware 2007-2008 (for Windows XP and up)
Open Program
Click on blue "Update" button, middle of page.
ver 2008- Update will process mostly by itself.
ver 2007- After a "Gathering Information..." windows, You MAY see any or all of the following messages:
---The Definitions file is outdated...
---There are new software updates available...
---A new version of the Update Manager is available...
Click "Yes" or "OK" as needed.
On Update Complete window, click "OK"
A screen with many files will appear. Most will have checkmarks. Leave all as is and click "Download" button.
(Note: You may see messages from your firewall asking about access. Say ALLOW in all cases.)
Files will download and install as needed.
A window will open when updates are complete. Takes a while. Click "OK".
Click blue "Scan Now" button.
Choose Smart Scan or Full Scan.
Click "Scan" button.
When scan is complete, there will be 3 tabs across the top with scan results.
Put a checkmark in front of all Critical Objects. (Right click on 1 checkmark box and click on "Select All Objects").
Click the "Remove" button. If anything can not be removed, click the "Quarantine" button.
Select the next tab and put a checkmark in front of all Privacy Objects except "MRU object".
Click the "Remove" button.
Click the "Finish" button, and then the X in the upper right corner to close Ad-Aware.

 

Ad-Aware SE will not be getting any more updates. If you have Windows 98 or ME, keep using it as is. The NEW free version is Ad-Aware 2007. (But 2007 will not work with Windows 98 or ME.)
Ad-Aware SE
Open program.
Click on "Check for Updates" (Lower right just above "Start")
Click on "Connect".
Click on "OK" to download new reference file if one is available.
When done click on "Finish".
Click "Start".
Click "Next". Wait for scan to run.
When done scanning, click "Next"
Under the heading "Scanning Results" will be several tabs.
Click on the "Critical Objects" tab.
You will see a list of items.
Right click on any one. On the menu that opens, click on "Select all Products".
Click "Next". Will quarantine and then delete everything on the list.
You're done! Click the X in the upper right corner to close Ad-Aware.

If either program says some problems could not be fixed and asks if you would like the program to run on next start up, say YES and then reboot your computer. The program will run while your computer is starting up before your desktop icons show up. Let it run through the scan and have it fix anything it finds.

 

BHO Demon
Open program.
Check the color of the entries. All entries that are green are OK.
Red is bad, and means Malware.
If any entries are RED, remove the checkmark in front of that entry.
Say yes to any windows that open.
If red entries are found, you should scan with every other program you have ASAP.

 


Ways to Avoid Getting Adware, Spyware, and Malware.
The following are examples of programs that install ad based software and spyware. This list is not complete, it is only meant as a guide.

**MORE NEW INFO**
Malware has recently found a NEW way to infect your computer. As of late sometime in 2008, Malware companies have started to hide their crap software in the "shared" folder on thousands of computers all over the world. They give the files the same name as popular songs. Then when anyone tries to download those songs, they download the malware instead. This makes file sharing programs far more risky that they already were. File sharing through P2P networks is considered by most to be illegal. Now it is dangerous as well.

BE CAREFULL - BE INFORMED - BE SAFE!

**NEW INFO**
Malware has become a bigger problem recently. There are more and more programs aimed at getting you to buy their spyware removal programs. (For a Price). They usually show up as a warning on the screen or as a popup from the system tray. They claim your computer is badly infected and warn that you could have more problems if not taken care of IMMEDIATLY! They claim to offer a solution if you just click here. These are scare tactics meant to make you think your computer is infected. And it IS infected, but the popup IS the infection. Many of them bombard you with so many messages it makes it hard just to use your computer. This is what they want! It's called HARASMENT! I've known people who PAY them just to stop the messages. DON'T GIVE IN! These programs can be removed. Using AdAware and Spybot usually does the trick. If not, there are other programs and methods to remove them. Some have been classified as trogens and can now be removed by a good Antivirus program. But others use rootkits to hide so well, it takes special software to find and eliminate them. Here is a link to a site that lists bad spyware programs to avoid and a few good programs to use. (Or call me and I will get rid of them for you.)

How do they get on your computer to start with? These rogue malware programs are loaded like many other adware and spyware programs, along with some free program. See more on this below. Others are "push loaded" on to your computer by visiting a bad site, or by clicking on a pop up ad. Some ads have places to click yes or no, but in reality, clicking ANYWHERE on an ad will be the same as clicking yes. (You should click the X in the upper right corner to close ads. For those ads that do not have an X, you may be able to close the window using the Task manager. If you accidentally misspell a website address slightly, you may get a website setup USING the misspelled name to catch those mistakes. The sites are mostly all ads and pop ups that try to get you to buy something, or try to load junk software on to your computer. Some new malware programs are loaded by older spyware already on your computer. Another tactic is to show you a link to a current popular news story or video. Could be about a tornado outbreak, a new music video, a new TV show, some new way to make money at home, or anything that will get you to click the link. ANY type of video, news or information to get your attention. Then when you try to watch the video, you get a message saying "You need the following ActiveX object to see the video. Click here to install the ActiveX control." Or something to that effect. The "ActiveX control is really a malware program called Smitfraud. Very nasty and hard to get rid of. Be safe and be very careful what you download, which downloads you accept, and the websites you visit. And always keep your windows updated with all security updates. (I leave it up to you if you want to install Internet Explorer 7. While not necessary, it has some good points, but also has some issues with Kodak software and some HP printers. It can be removed if you have a problem.)


BE CAREFULL - BE INFORMED - BE SAFE!

Toolbars of any kind. They claim to block pop ups, but they actually block competitors ads and allow their own. They also claim to help you search, but they really change your search results to display links to sites that have paid to be first on the list. The BEST matches to your search are buried down the list someplace.

Music Downloading Software. The WORST offenders by far. Kazza, Groster, Bearshare, etc. As they say- There is no free lunch. One music sharing program will load up more junk software then 5 other "free" programs.

Free Programs. Most free programs are not free, they are "Ad Supported". That means they will install software on your computer to display as many ads as possible to get you to buy something. Then they make money off your purchases. Some popular examples are Precision Time, Date Manager, Comet Curser, Bonzi Buddy, My Daily Horoscope, Weather Bug, Save Now, Bargain Buddy, Gain, Gator Password Manager, and Wild Tangent Game Channel.

Enhancer's. Any program that claims it will speed up your internet or improve your searches. Same as above. Also any program that claims to increase system memory without adding memory chips, improve memory usage by monitoring and clearing unused memory, or speed up software downloads.

Pop Up Blockers. Most blockers are "Ad Supported". (See above again) They also are selective like toolbars. Their ads get through. Even if you find one without ad software, the real problem is the adware and spyware on your computer. Instead of covering the problem with a band aid, you want to remove the adware and spyware with Ad-Aware and Spybot. On that note, I routinely find other spy removal software on the list of items to be removed by Ad-Aware and Spybot. For example, Spybuster claims to clean your computer, but instead installs even more junk. Can't trust anybody anymore, can you. But you can trust Ad-Aware and Spybot. They really do work correctly. Here is a link to a site that shows which software works and which ones do not. NOTE HOW LONG the list of bad software is!

On-Line Gaming Sites. On-line gaming sites make money from ads. Most will display ads in every window or make you watch an ad before getting to your game. This goes for all game sites including cards, casino gambling, and arcade style games. Most of the time you have to register to use the site, (personal information), other times you need to download a special "Plug In" or "Update" to use the site. That type is the worst, because the plug in or update is ad based software that allows them to install software on your computer. Some of them can be nasty. I have seen cases where after playing games, there are game icons all over the desktop and every time you start your computer, you have to cancel out of a full screen window showing you the games and ads. Very aggravating if you ask me.