As many of you know, I used to recommend SpyBot Search and Destroy for Anti-Spyare protection. But I’m afraid its detection rate has fallen off recently. I have been using (for about 6 weeks), and now recommend, Microsoft’s Antispyware program which is currently available as a free beta to users of Windows 2000 and later. It’ s based on the Giant Antispyware product that Microsoft purchased late in 2004 and has impressive detection. It also has excellent real time protection against the current plague of browser hijackers, auto-dialers and other surreptitiously downloaded scumware products. Microsoft has announced that the product will remain free even when out of beta, so in my book, that makes it a good long term choice.
My second selection in this category is Ad-aware SE. It’s free too and works with all versions of Windows, though the free version lacks the active protection offered by Giant. However you can add active protection by using other free products (see below) I use both the Microsoft beta program, (aka Giant) and Ad-aware as they tend to find slightly different things. If possible, I suggest you use both as well. http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/spyware/software/default.mspx ( 6.4MB) http://www.lavasoftusa.com/software/adaware/ (1.7MB)
Caution: This Antispyware recommendation is NOT to replace Anti-VIRUS software! We’re talking two completely different animals here. You still MUST HAVE AV software on your PC. Please also understand, my recommendation does NOT mean I offer tech support for either of these products if you decide to try them. But I think you’ll find even the novice users will have no problem with the Microsoft Antispyware Beta program.