Here are some items that you will want to add to your to-do list:
These are some tips to reduce the potential for Spyware/Adware/Virus infection in the future:
I would strongly recommend reviewing and installing the following applications if you dont currently have them running on your system:Use Anti-Virus Software
It is very important that your computer has Anti-Virus software running on your machine. This alone can save you a lot of trouble with malware in the future.
See this link for a listing of some online and stand-alone Anti-Virus programs:Virus, Spyware, and Malware Protection and Removal ResourcesUpdate your AntiVirus Software
It is imperitive that you update your Anti-Virus software at least once a week (Even more if you wish). If you do not update your Anti-Virus software then it will not be able to catch any of the new variants that may come out.Use a Firewall
I can not stress how important it is that you use a Firewall on your computer. Without a firewall your computer is succeptible to being hacked and taken over. Simply using a Firewall in its default configuration can lower your risk greatly.
For a tutorial on Firewalls and a listing of some available ones see the link below:Understanding and Using FirewallsSpyware/Adware Detection and Removal Programs:Understanding Spyware, Browser Hijackers, and DialersAd-Aware SE
If you suspect that you have spyware installed on your computer, here are instructions on how to setup and use Ad-Aware SEHow to use Ad-Aware SE to remove Spyware
If you suspect that you have spyware installed on your computer, here are instructions on how to setup and use Spybot S&DHow to use Spybot to remove Spyware
[/list]I strongly recommend using both of these programs to catch most spyware/adwarePrevention Programs:
Other Necessary Programs:
- SpywareBlaster -- SpywareBlaster will prevent spyware from being installed.
- SpywareGuard -- SpywareGuard offers realtime protection from spyware installation attempts.
- IE/Spyad -- IE/Spyad places over 4000 websites and domains in the IE Restricted list which will severely impair attempts to infect your system. It basically prevents any downloads (Cookies etc) from the sites listed, although you will still be able to connect to the sites.
- MVPS Hosts File -- The MVPS Hosts File replaces your current HOSTS file with one containing well know ad sites etc. Basically, this prevents your coputer from connecting to those sites by redirecting them to 127.0.0.1 which is your local computer.
- Google Toolbar -- Get the free Google Toolbar to help stop pop up windows.
- A More Secure Browser
Internet Explorer is not the most secure and best browser.
There are safer and better alternatives available. I recommend using Firefox
Be sure to also keep up with Windows and IE updates.Windows Security and Critical Updateshttp://v4.windowsupdate.microsoft.com/en/default.aspInternet Explorer Security and Critical Updateshttp://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/default.aspAnd also see TonyKlein's good adviceSo how did I get infected in the first place?Update all these Programs Regularly:
Make sure you update all the programs I have listed regularly. Without regular updates you WILL NOT
be protected when new malicious programs are released. Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.