One of the easiest “set it and forget it” Anti-Spyware utilities is JavaCool’s SpywareBlaster. Instead of waiting to scan and eliminate spyware after the PC is already infected, it guards against spyware ever infecting your computer in the first place.
SpywareBlaster is unique in the way it works, by disabling a known list of spyware related to Active X controls and integrating with both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It flags items in the registry and an associated spy process will not be able to run on the system.
Installation is fast and easy… after a few setup selections you can close SpywareBlaster and go about your web surfing. When starting out a quick tutorial gets you rolling, basically letting you know what you expect out of the program.
On the next screen you will be prompted about updates. If you want an Automatic Updating subscription it will only set you back $9.95/year, but this is not required to get the full functionality of the program, you will just need to manually check for protection updates.
After successful installation you will see Protection Status on the user interface. As you can see the last database loaded into this download is from June of this year. From here you can enable protection for Internet Explorer and Firefox. What I like to do is get all of the updates first before enabling the protection.
From the options on the left click on Updates. Click Updates on the left side and then hit the “Check for Updates” button.
After SpywareBlaster has a successful update its protection database you will get a confirmation message.
Now all you need to do is go back to the Protection Status section and click the “Enable All Protection” link and wait a short period for everything to update.
That is all there is to it! SpywareBlaster had done its job and you will get a friendly reminder if you minimize the application as there is no reason for it to continue to run. Just click the box to not see this message every time.
There are some other cool features included such as taking a System Snapshot that will image your system settings and you can restore those settings if you get a bad case of malicious software changing them.
Other tools include Hosts Safe which will create and encrypted backup of your current Hosts file. Flash Killer, and Custom Blocking of ActiveX controls you may be aware of.
SpywareBlaster is an essential part of a security best practices arsenal. Blocking malware before it infects your system definitely saves a lot of headaches. SpywareBlaster is completely free and and I highly recommend using it!