Antispyware – How to Get the Best One for You
As spyware and adware have become increasingly powerful and difficult to remove, developers of antispyware programs have added a wider range of functionality to their applications to give users more powerful tools as well as greater control over those tools.
What is Antispyware?
Although antispyware applications have long resembled standard antivirus applications in many ways, they have also started to acquire their own distinctive set of features in order to help users deal with the unique problems posed by spyware and adware. Given the bewildering array of programs and features available to users looking for antispyware applications, users may find it difficult to usefully compare antispyware programs and their feature sets.
How Antispyware Protects You
Antispyware programs can protect your computer from pop-up ads, hackers, identity theft and other spyware-related threats. For all intents and purposes, antispyware comes in two forms; real-time protection and after-the-fact protection, where you run regular scans on your machine to check for spyware infections.
Real-time antispyware programs scan incoming information and prevent spyware software from installing on your computer. It essentially works in the same way that antivirus software works. Each time spyware tries to install itself on your computer, a box will pop up and warn you of the threat.
Antispyware programs developed to detect and remove spyware software are used after the fact and work to find programs that are already embedded on your machine. This type of software is typically easier to use and seems to be much more popular.
Like most antivirus software, many antispyware programs need to have their database of threats evaluated and updated frequently. As new spyware programs are released, antispyware developers discover and evaluate them, to determine their level of threat and to create ‘signatures’ so the programs can find and eliminate the new spyware.
Without being regularly updated, antispyware is almost worthless. Updates may be installed automatically on a schedule or before doing a scan, or may be done manually.
If a spyware program is not blocked and manages to install itself, it may fight your attempts to uninstall it. Some programs work in pairs: When an antispyware scanner (or the user) terminates one running process, the other one respawns the killed program. Likewise, some spyware will detect your attempts to delete registry keys and, as a reaction, will immediately add them again. It used to be necessary for the user to start their pc in safe mode to remove the worst spyware, but now top rated antispyware software like ZookaWare PC Cleaner have developed new technology which eliminates the need to do this.
Unfortunately, there is a new breed of spyware starting to hide inside system-critical processes and start up even in safe mode. With no process to terminate, they are harder to detect and remove. Sometimes they do not even leave any on-disk signatures.
To keep your computer safe, be hyper-vigilant about what you’re downloading and where you’re downloading it from. Don’t open email from anyone you are not familiar with and, most importantly, make sure you run an antispyware scan on your computer on a daily or weekly basis.