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Spyware - Adware - Hijackers - Parasites

Spyware Spyware, Adware, Hijackers - Oh My! Just what is Spyware? You may notice that all of a sudden, your Home or Start page has changed. You may be unable to change it back to your preference. Or you may be seeing all kinds of annoying popup ads that are impossible to get rid of. Or all of your web searches, whether to Google or MSN are being redirected to some sleazy porn search. Your dialup connection box may keep popping up, even when you have not requested to go online. If you see any of these symptoms, you've got Spyware, Adware, a Parasite or a Hijacker.

No matter "how" they got on your computer, you want to be rid of them! Here's how. There are three free programs you can download and install that will scan your computer for hundreds of these types of pests.

The files you will download are cwshredder.zip, aawsepersonal.exe, spywareblastersetup32.exe and spybotsd13.exe. These are the installers. Save them to your Desktop or My Documents folder so you can find them. Once downloaded, double-click the files to start the install. Follow the install instructions. In the case of CWShredder, open the Zip file and drag the contained file out to your Desktop.

Once installed, you will have icons on your Desktop for each program. Following are steps for running each program.

CWShredder (run this program first)

  1. Double-click the CWShredder.exe desktop icon.
  2. Click on the "Fix" button
  3. The program will scan, fix and report what it has done.
  4. Quit the program


  1. Double-click the Ad-aware 6.0 desktop icon.
  2. Click on "Check for updates now" in the lower right corner. Click Connect.
  3. Click OK to install the new reference file. Click Finish.
  4. Click "Start" in the Ad-aware window (lower right corner).
  5. Choose "Perform smart system-scan". Click Next.
  6. When the scan is complete, click Next.
  7. At the Scanning results screen, click Next and then OK to remove the objects.
  8. Quit the program


  1. Double-click the Spybot desktop icon.
  2. Chose English for the language.
  3. Click OK on the "Legal stuff" screen.
  4. Click OK on the "Compatibility warning".
  5. Click the "Search for updates" button.
  6. Change the download location from SpybotSD.de to Rootboxen.net (USA).
  7. Click Download updates. (check all updates in the list)
  8. When Spybot restarts, click the Search & Destroy button. Then click the "Check for problems" button.
  9. When the scan is complete, click "Fix selected problems".
  10. When the fix is complete, click "Immunize" on the left. Click OK and then click the "Immunize" button in the middle to prevent future infections.
  11. Exit the program.

After you have scanned and cleaned, install and run SpywareBlaster to keep spyware from coming back.

You should now be free of the problems and protected from getting infected again. Still, it is a good idea to scan your computer with both programs every week or so.

There is also an excellent write-up at: http://aumha.org/a/quickfix.htm

To learn more about how to surf the Net safely, see this web page: Safety in the Internet