If you frequently visit websites you are not sure you can trust, use other people’s disks or removable drives or are just plain worried about computer safety, then Spybot Search and Destroy could be a valuable weapon in your arsenal.
Safer Networking’s Spybot search and destroy is a popular software that works both actively and passively in protecting your computer. Available online and free for personal use, it can be used to detect and remove trojans, tracking cookies, worms and spyware. Moreover, once installed it can be used to prevent future infections through the immunize tool.
The software is simple to use. Once installed, a quick “Check for Problems” will list out all possible infections in your system, with more information regarding each in the adjacent pane. You can fix these with the click of a button.
Spybot S&D also has three resident functions. The “Immunize” feature works with your browsers (IE, Firefox and Opera) to block websites from installing tracking cookies or spyware via drive-by-download malicious behavior.
The Resident SDHelper is useful for Internet Explorer users as it prevents dangerous ActiveX installs through the browser. And lastly, the resident ‘tea-timer’ is a process that runs in the background and monitors file and application installs. If any install is initiated, the user is warned and if it was not started by the user, he or she can choose to kill it before launch.
There are other goodies in the software too – the “Tools” column on the left pane contains a secure file shredder that allows you to delete unwanted files without a trace, a Registry analyzer that you can use to remove inconsistent and obsolete entries and, Startup and Uninstall monitors among other useful features.