Anti-spyware programs like Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy do an
excellent job of ridding your computer of spyware components. In fact, if
your goal is to maintain a secure and stable computing environment, a good
quality anti-spyware scanner is practically a must have.
Having said that, the majority of anti-spyware scanners provide a
cure for spyware rather than offer prevention. Obviously, it would be more
desirable to prevent the installation of spyware in the first place rather
than get rid of it later. This is where an excellent freeware application
called SpywareBlaster comes into its own.
SpywareBlaster sets a so-called "kill bit" that prevents spyware
Active X controls on a webpage from being installed at all. It can
also stop some Active X controls from running if they have already
been installed. The software achieves this by checking its database
of known spyware Active X controls. The program has a built in
updater, so that information about new spyware threats can be easily added
to the spyware database.
This software has quite a lot of useful options. You can configure it to
block spyware / tracking cookies, create an encrypted back up of your
browser hosts file and a lot more. It also offers the ability to create a
"System Snapshot" of your computer when it is in a "clean", spyware free
state. A spyware infection can make a lot of changes to your computer
settings but the "System Snapshot" function allows you to reverse a lot of
these changes quickly and easily.
Although it protects your system from Active X threats in real time, you
do not have to have the program running all the time, which saves system
resources. However, it is important to open the program and check for
updates on a regular basis.
I am not suggesting that SpywareBlaster is a *replacement* for
spyware scanners like Ad-Aware, as this is not the case.
SpywareBlaster cannot do a full spyware scan of your system and rid
your computer of all existing spyware. I have Spybot Search and
Destroy, Ad-Aware and SpywareBlaster installed on my systems.
Together they provide very thorough protection against spyware.
It is only fair to mention that Spybot Search and Destroy has the
"Immunize" option, which provides protection against Active X
Controls in a similar way to SpywareBlaster. However, SpywareBlaster is
more comprehensive and configurable in this area.
SpywareBlaster is freeware, is compatible with Windows 95, 98, ME, NT 4,
2000 and XP and is a relatively small download at a little over 700KB.
You can read more about SpywareBlaster and download the product via
the link below: