A. CLEAN YOUR CURRENT SYSTEM
1. As a starting point, I recommend going to download.com and downloading SpyBot Search & Destroy 1.3 and AdAware SE
2. Install both of these and update each of them to latest definitions
3. Another possible solution is Microsoft's AntiSpyware tool, which is in beta currently at their site, which does an excellent job in cleaning some of the advanced spyware currently circulating.
4. CWS Shredder is now owned and maintained by InterMute and can sometimes remove advanced cases of Cool World Search
5. If problems still persist, the following forums can help with advanced cleaning needs:
Advanced Sites for Difficult Spyware Removal
B. PREVENT FUTURE ATTACKS
1. If you're on XP, move to SP2 and you'll have a much more secure version of IE (that offers pop-up blocking and spyware protection)
2. Strengthen your IE settings
3. Avoidance -- Do not click on URLs in EMAILs and be careful on websites you may wish. A way I've promoted this to users is to "think before you click"
4. Additional complementary browsers can be used and they won't conflict with IE. I like Opera and Firefox as add-on tools as they are a little less suseptible to spyware than IE. This link discusses how to install Firefox.
5. Toolbars/IE Shells - I'm not a big fan of this as I like to use the "keep it simple" approach on IE. Google offers a good toolbar. Maxthon and Slimbrower are excellent IE shells I've experimented with that offer pop-up blocking.
Below is a link for virus cleaning if any are discovered during the spware cleaning process:
VIRUS REMOVAL - BEST PRACTICES TO CLEAN A DIFFICULT VIRUS
Edited by Grinler, 19 November 2006 - 10:44 AM.