- spyware they are small software that are placed in auto-start on the PC and spy on everything the user does on the PC, in particular the sites he opens, the programs he launches and the purchases he makes on the sites, so as to be able to redirect the browser to unwanted sites, full of viruses by suddenly appearing pop-ups and annoying banners, fuel phishing and in general undermining the stability of the computer causing slowdowns.
Even if at first we do not notice the presence of spyware (which could very well be hidden inside a legitimate program), at some point, when it has collected enough user data, it will show web pages on the browser without any warning. or pop-ups with purchase advice on disreputable sites, where there are often malware or phishing scams lurking.
In this guide we will show you the best anti-spyware programs that we can install on the PC, so as to come to the aid of the classic antivirus (which basically blocks the most known malware, but could be in trouble with the most hidden or newest threats).
Most of these programs can be started for a periodic scan, so as to immediately eliminate any "intruders" who are spying on us.
1) Prevention is better than cure
In order not to run any risk surfing the internet we must obtain effective protections, which can protect the computer before spyware can take root.
Having a good antivirus (the internal one of Windows 10 is fine too) and a firewall (included with Windows), on a PC updated regularly in all its applications, it will be more difficult to get infected.
The problem with spyware, however, is that they are often not seen as malware, they hide well and spread via free websites and programs.
As an additional protection we can install some spyware and malware scanners, so as to be able to launch a scan every now and then to search for hidden programs that have escaped the main protection system (which is possible if we use the antivirus and firewall integrated in Windows 10).
The general precautions concern not downloading files at random, not opening internet pages that warn to "interact" with the computer, not to download unknown extensions or plugins recommended by the sites (they are always viruses!) And to avoid web pages with too many advertisements.
We are also careful when we visit gambling, casino, pornography, cash games, crack sites: on these sites we never open advertising banners, do not download programs that are unknown and those that are advertised "too much".
2) Best anti-spyware programs
To increase the defenses, we recommend installing one of the following programs, to be combined with the official antivirus on the PC.
- Spybot: since this is a particularly powerful and constantly updated program, it is essential to find those small threats, especially related to internet browsing, that antivirus do not consider.
Spybot is to be used at least once a month, updating it and starting its scan; the program, especially if the PC is used by several different people, will always find some threats to eradicate.
- Spyware Blaster is a program that prevents the execution of malicious scripts from websites that may have behaviors from spyware but also from adware and malware. Taking a very different approach to other anti-spyware tools, which have scanning for malicious files as their main task, it prevents all spyware in its database from being installed on your computer for spyware. As a prevention method it is very effective, also because it does not have to remain active all the time. That's why we recommend always installing it on PCs run by beginners or many different people.
- Malwarebytes Anti-malware: one of the more programs light and efficient in the search for spyware, even the most hidden ones.
It scans your computer files for malware, the good thing is that the scan is pretty fast, the great thing is that it removes some spy threats that Spybot doesn't see.
The free version offers a scanner that blocks many additional threats compared to those of previous programs, but the maximum effectiveness is obtained with the commercial license.
- AdwCleaner: another very powerful and effective program, able to eradicate spyware, browser modifications, adware and many other threats that can hide inside the PC.
We recommend that you periodically run a scan with this program, given its enormous effectiveness: we will always find something to eliminate and we will prevent spyware from collecting too much data.
- Superantispyware: it is the classic "install and forget" software: it can be updated and used no more than once every two months, it does a more accurate scan file by file and shows a minimal report of false positives; in the free version, permanent protection cannot be activated, which should only be done in case of real need since it can slow down the computer.
Superantispyware is perfect in its portable version that can be copied to a USB stick and used if you are unable to install new programs on your PC.
- In another article we talked about Reason Core Security to find and clean viruses and malware on your PC, which we recommend to learn more about in the dedicated guide.
- Malware Fighter di IOBit, an excellent free scanner with real-time protection, capable of intercepting a large number of spyware and malware thanks to its large database, constantly updated.
- Spyware Terminator, a powerful program that offers a spyware removal tool in addition to a real-time protection module, capable of preventing threats before they infect your computer.
By scanning these software the PC should be well protected from threats of all kinds, especially advertisements, spyware and banners that install themselves, and the many threats from the web.
Note that often, if you download all the reported anti-spyware programs, each of them always reports an infection even from a clean PC.
The reason is that the very concept of spyware is not defined and some programs also report dubious files and often false positives, so it is always advisable to try more than one product to be sure of catching all the infections (let's start them one at a time of course! ).
Another article explains the best procedure for remove malware, spyware and fake antivirus from the infected computer.
Best Anti-Spyware programs to protect your PC