How do you prevent spyware from being installed again? We strongly recommend installing SpywareBlaster (it's free for personal use).
Download, run, check for updates, download updates, select all, protect against checked. All done. Check for updates every couple of weeks. If you have any errors running the program like a missing file see the link at the bottom of the javacool page.
Prevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted pests.
Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox.
Restrict the actions of potentially dangerous sites in Internet Explorer.
Consumes no system resources.
Link to SpywareBlaster: http://www.geekstogo...tion=show&id=12
It's also CRITICAL to keep your system up to date to avoid unnecessary security risks. Click Here to make sure that you have the latest patches for Windows.
Included in those updates is Windows XP Service Pack 2. Since you're junkware free, the time to get it is NOW. Service Pack 2 is a MAJOR upgrade for XP. It adds numerous security and software patches, as well as new features and functionality. You will also be adding another layer of protection against future threats.
Running an anti-virus and keeping it up-to-date is REQUIRED to keep a clean system. If you don't have one or are sick of paying for what you have, AVG offers a great, free anti-virus:
A firewall is also another MUST. If you do not have one or Windows XP Service Pack 2, both Zone Labs and Sygate offer great, free firewalls. I suggest using Zone Alarm for an advanced user or Sygate Personal Firewall for beginner users.
These next two steps are optional, but will provide the greatest protection.
1. Use ANY browser at all times besides Internet Explorer, almost every exploit is crafted to take advantage of an IE weakness. We usually recommend Firefox (You'll need to use IE only to visit Windows Update).
2. Install Sun's Java. It's much more secure than Microsoft's Java Virtual Machine.
It's okay to delete the Hijack This folder in a couple weeks if everything is working okay.
After doing all these, your system will be thoroughly protected from future threats.