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Spyware removal tools


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#1 nanasue

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 05:38 PM

Hi, it's been a long time since I've needed help from the guru's here. My son used to set me up with Adaware spyware removal, but my son noted when he looked over my shoulder recently that my computer has an Ad-aware antivirus, which conflicts with AVG, and is not the spyware remover that my son used to recommend. Does Ad-aware still have an anti spyware program? If not, what would be the recommended program to get rid of spyware on Windows 8?

Edit: Topic moved from Windows 8 to the more appropriate forum.~ Animal

God Bless


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#2 quietman7

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Posted 14 January 2015 - 06:50 PM

mvps.org is no longer recommending Ad-Aware (or Spybot) due to poor testing results. See here - (scroll down and read under Freeware Antispyware Products).

Read Lavasoft Turning to the Dark Side? written by a former volunteer (now a MVP) who provided support for Ad-Aware but no longer uses the program.

Ad-Aware...have gone into a downhill spiral over the past five years and recently sold the company to Solaria... Majorgeeks stopped listing Ad-Aware as a “pick” some years ago as we watched the quality of the company slip over the years...it can’t stand up to the new generation of anti-spyware applications...

What does the future hold for Ad-Aware?
Lavasoft Controversies

With that said and to be fair, the newer versions of Ad-Aware Pro Security have earned Certificates & Awards from AV-Test and Lavasoft Ad-Aware Free Antivirus+ did well in Virus Bulletin August 2013 Testing results.

IMO, more effective alternatives are Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, Emsisoft Anti-Malware and SUPERAntiSpyware Free.

See my comments in Supplementing your Anti-Virus Program with Anti-Malware Tools as to why I recommend Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Pro and Emsisoft Anti-Malware.

Also see the List of Free Scan & Disinfection Tools which can be used to supplement your anti-virus and anti-spyware in that topic.
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#3 Victoria-Joe

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 02:27 AM

In my opinion, the best available programs for spyware or malware removal are:

 

Sophos Virus removal tool- free

Ad-ware free antivirus +

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware



#4 quietman7

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 05:58 AM

nanasue has AVG installed so he should not be using Ad-ware free antivirus +.
Using more than one anti-virus program is not advisable. See the IMPORTANT NOTE in this topic: Choosing an Anti-Virus Program
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#5 Aura

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 08:15 AM

In my opinion, the best available programs for spyware or malware removal are:
 
Sophos Virus removal tool- free
Ad-ware free antivirus +
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware


I think that I wouldn't recommend Ad-Aware anymore after seeing quietman's post just up yours. Also, it's not the product it used to be back in the days.

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#6 quietman7

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Posted 15 January 2015 - 11:30 AM

...Ad-Aware...it's not the product it used to be back in the days.

Nope and that is unfortunate.
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#7 SystHeal2

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 10:15 AM

I want best antivirus to remove all the malware programms from my computer. Tell some good malware remover software?



#8 Aura

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 10:34 AM

I want best antivirus to remove all the malware programms from my computer. Tell some good malware remover software?


I suggest you to create your own thread so you won't hijack this one. However, I'll tell you the truth, as straight as it is. A such program doesn't exist. There's no program that will remove every malware from a system, nor detect them all. It doesn't exist and never will. Malware removal is combinaison of manual work and automated scans (programs, tools). If you want to get malware removed from an infected system, BleepingComputer offers a such service in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs section. Simply follow the instruction guide before creating a thread there. As for "malware remover software", you probably mean Antimalware software. There's "generic" ones and there's "specialized" ones, meaning that both type of program/tool won't accomplish the same thing, nor look for the same kind of malware. Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSpyware and SpyBot Search and Destroy are what we could call "generic" Antimalware software, since they look for all kind of malware on a system and remove them (only the ones they detect however, and none of these have a 100% detection ratio). Other Antimalware that I call "tools", like AdwCleaner, JRT, etc. are specialized Antimalware tools. Which means that they target specific type of malwares, like Browser Hijackers, Adwares, Spywares, etc. and even specific ones like SearchProtect, Trovi, etc. Do you understand?

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#9 quietman7

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Posted 19 January 2015 - 04:17 PM

I want best antivirus to remove all the malware programms from my computer. Tell some good malware remover software?

There is no universal "one size fits all" solution that works for everyone and there is no single best anti-virus. Every vendor's virus lab and program scanning engine is different. Each has has its own strengths and weaknesses and they often use a mix of technologies to detect and remove malware. In many cases choosing an anti-virus is a matter of personal preference and what works best on a particular system. You may need to experiment and find the one most suitable for your needs. Please read:
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#10 nanasue

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:17 PM

wow, wish I'd been following this topic more closely. you guys have given me a lot to think about. I'm going to talk to my son and see where to go from here, but I think it may be a good idea to find an adware (?) remover to supplement Malwarebytes?


God Bless


#11 Aura

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:27 PM

If you need help to get adware removed from your son's computer, you can always request a check-up here on BleepingComputer by a professionakl in the Virus, Trojan, Spyware, and Malware Removal Logs section. All you need to do is to follow the preparation guide :)

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#12 nanasue

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:32 PM

it's actually my laptop... my son tries to help me, and is the reason why I have a profile here. I tried ADWCleaner, just out of curiosity. It found a lot of things on my laptop, but AVG had a fit over it being on my laptop... why?


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#13 Aura

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 12:58 PM

To make it short, Antivirus are more useful when it comes to preventing malware from getting on a system. Once a malware finds his way in, it's quite rare for an Antivirus to be able to find and remove it, hence where Antimalware tools comes in play to remove these malware that slipped by the Antivirus. AdwCleaner is one of the best Antimalware tool that focuses on adware (along with Browser Hijacker, PUPs, Junkwares), you could also give Junkware Removal Tool (JRT) a try.

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#14 nanasue

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:26 PM

but why did AVG complain about it as if ADWCleaner were a virus or something? Oh, and, how do I reaccess ADWCleaner when I close it after using it? I can't find a shortcut on the desktop...


Edited by nanasue, 24 January 2015 - 01:27 PM.

God Bless


#15 quietman7

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Posted 24 January 2015 - 01:44 PM


Certain embedded files that are part of legitimate programs and specialized fix tools (like ADWCleaner), may at times be detected by some anti-virus and anti-malware scanners as suspicious, a Risk Tool, Hacking Tool, Potentially Unwanted Program, a possible threat or even Malware (virus/trojan) when that is not the case. This occurs for a variety of reasons to include the tool's compiler, the files it uses, whether files are compressed or packed, what behavior (routines, scripts, etc) it performs, any registry strings it may contain and the type of security engine that was used during the scan. Other legitimate files which may be obfuscated, encrypted or password protected in order to conceal itself so they do not allow access for scanning but often trigger alerts by anti-virus software.

When flagged by an anti-virus or security scanner, it's because the program includes features, behavior or files that appear suspicious or which can potentially be used for malicious purposes. Compressed and packed files in particular are often flagged as suspicious by security software because they have difficulty reading what is inside them. These detections do not necessarily mean the file is malicious or a bad program. It means it has the potential for being misused by others or that it was simply detected as suspicious or a threat due to the security program's heuristic analysis engine which provides the ability to detect possible new variants of malware. Anti-virus scanners cannot distinguish between "good" and "malicious" use of such programs, therefore they may alert you or even automatically remove them. In these cases the detection is a "false positive" and can be ignored.

Most of the well known specialized tools we use as malware fighters are written by known experts at various security forums like Bleeping Computer, TechSupport, GeeksToGo, SypwareInfo and other similar sites so they can be trusted...this includes any program hosted by BC for download. Unfortunately, many of these tools are repeatedly falsely detected by various anti-virus programs from time to time.

The problem is really with the anti-virus vendors who keep targeting these embedded files and NOT with the tools themselves. We can inform the developers but they have encountered this issue many times before and in most cases there isn't much they can do about it. Once the detection is reported to the anti-virus vendor, they are usually quick to fix it by releasing an updated definition database.

Either have your anti-virus ignore the detection or temporarily disable it until you download and run the tool.
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