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Pest Removal

Detect and eliminate unwanted programs from your system

Spyware Scanners
These products simplify the detection and removal of common software parasites.

Spybot Search&Destroy (Deutsch/English) - Free - Wow! This program has the most complete detection list I have ever seen. Spybot S&D is also able to replace some spyware files with dummy files so that other programs don't notice them missing.

Lavasoft AD-aware - Windows utility detects and removes many adware products, including TimeSink TSADBOT, Aureate/Radiate files, Comet Cursor, Cydoor and more. Free version available (for non-commercial users), Pro version also available.

PestPatrol - $30 for home use, free trial. PestPatrol detects a wide assortment of spyware and remote-access and keylogging trojans.

Browser Helper Object removers
A Browser Helper Object is a small piece of software that integrates with the Internet Explorer web browser. While some BHOs are created for legitimate purposes, BHOs are also a favorite of seedy companies trying to track your Internet usage or serve unwanted advertising.  

StartCaptor and BHOCaptor - Free, useful tools that allow you to control programs running at start-up and BHOs (Browser Helper Objects), programs such as Aureate spyware that can attach to your Web Browser. The Web page for BHOCaptor is inaccessible, but SpywareInfo has a copy, along with other nice tools, under Downloads.

ActiveX Spyware Blocking
Many new pests are written using ActiveX. A security feature in Windows allows specific ActiveX programs to be blacklisted from your system.

SpywareBlaster - Free utility sets a "kill bit" in the Windows Registry for known ActiveX spyware, preventing it from being able to install or run on your system.

Startup Managers
Allow you to control software that loads at start-up.

Deskanker - Free utility to manage programs that autostart from the Registry. The newer (experimental) version also allows control of programs started in Win.ini/StartUp Folder.
Process Managers
Allow you to view and terminate processes (programs) running on your machine.
ProcessViewer - Not a spyware remover, but a program that will let you see and kill every process running on your PC. (This entry will be moved to a "spyware tools" area when it is ready).


Note: I'm also working on my own spyware prevention utility. See here for a description of what I want to do (some devious stuff :)

If you know of an essential malware elimination utility that should be listed here, or is better than what's currently listed, please email me. (Please note that this is not meant to be an exhaustive list; I am only listing a couple of each type of utility, not every one known to Man.)