Ad-ware and spyware is becoming a problem

I need to good and yet reliable solution to preventing adware, spyware and malware from getting on a very senative systems.  Many of my customer are experiencing this issue.  I need to be able to clean each system and then provide protection that will not allow many attaks.  In addition, I would like a spyware that the user does not have to click on each individual instances that it finds to remove it.  My main approach is to prevent this spyware mal-ware issue from happening in the first place. Lavasoft has the SE personal i like it; yet, it causes the customer to click on each instance to remove its findings.  Thanks.
JuaritaMooreAsked:
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VirusMinusCommented:
This page has a lot of information -> http://www.petenetlive.com/Tech/Browsers/hijack.htm

Here's a list of useful tools -> (courtesy sunray)

Spyware/Adware removal tools:
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What is spyware : http://www.spychecker.com/spyware.html

SpyBot-S&D : http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspybot.shtml

Ad-aware : http://www.webattack.com/download/dladaware.shtml

Trojan Remover :http://www.simplysup.com/

HijackThis : http://www.webattack.com/download/dlhijackthis.shtml

KL-Detector  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlkldetector.shtml

X-Cleaner Free  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlxcleaner.shtml

SpywareBlaster  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspywareblaster.shtml

SpywareGuard :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspywareguard.shtml

SpySites  :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlspysites.shtml

Keylogger Hunter :http://www.webattack.com/download/dlklhunter.shtml

Spycop: http://www.spycop.com/

Goodbye Spy http://www.topshareware.com/GoodBye-Spy-download-2012.htm

Other spyware removal instructions: http://www.pchell.com/support/click2findnow.shtml

To combat spyware on a network use PestPatrol, It is designed to run as part of the login script in a network environment. http://www.pestpatrol.com/pestpatrolce/
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Lobo042399Commented:
Hi Juarita,

There is no way to keep a machine 100% secure unless it's disconnected from the Net or to completely block users' access to any website that is not pre-approved by an Admin.

One of the best things to do in a network environment is to educate users. It's incredible the level of ignorance that exists when it comes to security issues. When you explain users WHY and HOW they are more likely to follow recommendations. I was recently doing some cleanup on a small network, 12 machines. Some of the stations had antivirus that had expired 2 years ago. Some of these users had antivirus disabled because they though running AdAware once a week was enough to keep the machines clean of everyhing, including viruses. The company's owner kept asking how come he had to buy antivirus updates for all the machines since only 5 had direct email connections (but all of them have Net access through the network.) It is a miracle that those machines were still running.

You can design a set of strict rules regarding Net access for a corporate environment, but unless you're there 24/7 you're gonna have to rely on someone else to enforce these rules. And that someone must know the how and why, or at least the basic stuff. Another problem is that sometimes users don't care and purposedly ignore these safety rules and don't bother doing regular daily maintenance like running antivirus updates or decide that they're not a risk and go on installing programs like MSN or (shivers) Kazaa in the hope that nothing will happen. In those cases tough love works better than any anti-spyware program.

A home environment is a different monster because the user wants to be able to surf the net without fear, the way it should be. In that case, education is the only way. You can give your clients the best anti-spyware and the best antivirus but if they don't know what to do with them it'll make no much difference.

I would not trust any anti-spyware that removes anything that it finds without asking me if it's okay to delete or not. It may work fine the forst time and the second, but sooner or later it's gonna delete something that it shouldn't and you'll have one very unhappy client. I use a combo Spybot S&D and AdAware and run them both every week. I would very strongly recommend that you get your clients to pay for AdAware Pro. It's money well spent. I would also make sure all of them have firewalls set up. These days these three things are needed: antivirus, anti-spyware, and firewall.

You could also set up a system with your clients where they can email you the names of items found that they're not sure if it should be deleted or not. That would be reassuring for them and you could even charge a few bucks for that added service. Whenever there's a new Update to antivirus and anti-spyware software you can also email your clients a reminder. Or make it as a weekly email newsletter with reminders and a bit of education thrown in.

Finally, you can check out my own toolbox and download anything you think you can add to your arsenal. The URL is:

http://www.gatesofdelirium.com/ee/tools/

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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VirusMinusCommented:
Excellent post Lobo!
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Lobo042399Commented:
Thanks :o)
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woodendudeCommented:
Adware se.   you only have to right click the first instance and then select all, and it wuill check the others for you.
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woodendudeCommented:
http://www.emsisoft.com/en/software/download/     A Squared is one of my favorites and they are probably one of the first to offer a flux trojan scanner also( nearer the bottom of the page), check it out.
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JuaritaMooreAuthor Commented:
Lobo,  paragraph 3 statement " or decide that they're not a risk and go on installing programs like MSN or (shivers) Kazaa in the hope that nothing will happen." is MSN a valunable network connection? Dose it carry a lot of stuff that will harm many systems? I know about Kazaa.  Your thoughts please.  
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woodendudeCommented:
A good recommendation would be to have your customers switch from Internet Explorer to Mozilla, Firefox even Netscape.
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Lobo042399Commented:
Hi Juarita,

It can be argued that a program like MSN can carry a value in a business environment. I use ICQ to stay in touch with some of my clients (among many other things I write stories for a magazine in Korea and sometimes they need a quick clarification on a word or a paragraph).  However, in most of the cases, people who install MSN or Yahoo IM in an office environment only do it to chat and the risk there is not the software itself but the files that are transmitted. Someone with an infected machine may send your client a picture, nothing wrong with the intention, but if your client's machine is not properly protected then that is a source for infections. The same with Kazaa. The main problem is that in general the whole Kazaa network is a well known source of all types of viruses; not because they intended it that way but because the people in that network does not do proper maintenance to their computers. So, having Kazaa in a corporate environment, even if the company is okay with people downloading stuff, is putting the security of the whole network at risk.

Woodendude, yes. I always recommend that and also the use of alternative email clients instead of Outlook. I use Netscape and the Netscape Mail client and have none of the worm problems that Outlook users have.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
One of the best ways to prevent spyware is to STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER. Start using firefox
http://www.spreadfirefox.com/?q=affiliates&id=23360&t=58

it is way more secure.
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
The problem here is that MOST use IE.  So upgrading to something like XP SP2, understanding the power and using the new interfaces to your advantage, implementing HW firewalls, good Viruscan programs always updated, good spyware tools, and so on along with a HW firewall works for us quite well.  AdAware SE Pro is top notch, when updated and configured to do deep scanning, including the HOSTS files, Spybot S&D when updated and using the Immunize function to block more than 2,500 new Spyware/Malware/Malicious BHOs works very well as a total package here.
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JuaritaMooreAuthor Commented:
OK, now if i switch my customer to not use internet explorer and purchase another; it is my understanding that many of the ISP's bounce off of Internet explorer.  therefore, AOL and SBC with is very popular amonst my users will still depend on IE because those companies use IE.  My question is if i install another will those ISP use IE or the one i installed. Do they depend on only IE to piggy back off of or will it be the one I installed.  Please educate me.  I need to understand how this actually works.  I will increase my points before in close question to insure all get awarded for this priceless goal i have.
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JuaritaMooreAuthor Commented:
Oh... All is great thus far.  Lobo you are great however, Guru 777 has open the door to a need for more information.  I assumed that alll companies bounce off of IE
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Lobo042399Commented:
>>it is my understanding that many of the ISP's bounce off of Internet explorer

No. ISP's don't care what browser you use since they don't make money out of them. What happens is that some websites are designed to work only with IE or use (shivers) FrontPage extensions that makes those sites unviewable or crippled with any other browser. Because of that, what I do myself and recommend is to use a primary browser like Firefox (firefox.com) or Netscape (netscape.com) -both free, no need to buy anything- and to keep IE for those cases of stubborn MShead web coders. Firefox does not come with a mail client bundled like Netscape does, but you can download the Thunderbird mail client that integrates with Firefox (http://www.mozilla.org/products/thunderbird)

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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JuaritaMooreAuthor Commented:
Lobo... this question might sound infant like. But, here it is: how would a user be able to switch back and forth between browsers.  
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Lobo042399Commented:
No, it's not infant-like.

Simply keep both icons on the Desktop, IE and Firefox (or Netscape). When you find a website that doesn't work in Firefox simply highlight the URL, hit Ctrl-C to copy it....  then open IE from the icon on the Desktop, paste the URL into its Address bar and hit Enter.
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JuaritaMooreAuthor Commented:
LOL, OK
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Lobo042399Commented:
It's Microsoft's way to force users to keep IE in their machines. Nice, huh?
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
You're in great hands here; the only caution I'd add is that if your clients/end-users have previous versions of Netscape/Mozilla and install new one, not to share Profiles, it can cause havoc.
Netscape 7.0 - 7.2 Release Notes - http://wp.netscape.com/eng/mozilla/ns7/relnotes/7.html#problems
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Lobo042399Commented:
Hi Asta,

One little inconvenient I found when installing Netscape 7.1 or 7.2 is that it would not let me create a mail account for my existing @netscape.net email. No biggie, tho. It used to work fine with 7.0. Another thing to always do -just in case- is to make a backup of the Bookmarks file to floppy, juuuust in case.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Excellent point, Lobo!  ":0)  Thanks for reminding me, and us all.  Asta
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Paul SDesktop Support Manager / Network AdministratorCommented:
Lobo is very right!

I use Firefox as my main browser and Keep IE around if i need it. Firefox is much much safer than IE. Firefox also has a built in popup blocker (A great plus). About the piggy back thing you talked about earlier, it is important to understand other programs relation to IE.

To my knowledge (someone correct me if i'm wrong) many programs use IE as a foundation. You could use the term piggy back if you wanted. These programs include MSN Explorer, AOL, SBC's Yahoo Browser, and many more. If you use any browser whose underlying code (foundation) is IE then it probably isn't much safter at all. Many people whom i suggest to stop using IE, start using MSN or AOL. So i have to clarify this alot.

Bottom line = don't just stop using IE, stop using anything related to IE.

IE = DANGER!!!
Firefox = Safety (Security)


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Lobo042399Commented:
Hi Computer Guru,

Great point there. I must confess to using Yahoo IM sometimes, but to stay in touch with clients and friends when email is too slow I use good old ICQ. Works for me. MSN gives me the creeps.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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Asta CuTechnical consultant & graphic designCommented:
Thank you
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Lobo042399Commented:
Thanks Juarita,

Glad we could be of help.

Good Vibes!

Lobo
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