Post PC Checkup Virus and Spyware Care

It is important to keep the anti-virus/anti-spyware tools installed up to date and to run scans regularly. Please take a moment to learn how to perform these tasks.

Preventing and Removing Spyware

Ad-Aware 2007

Ad-aware 2007 is a utility designed to eliminate spyware from your computer. The icon for Ad-Aware should be located on your desktop and look similar to this.

You will need to manually update and run this product by clicking on its icon. We recommend checking for an update before performing the scan to ensure you are protected against the latest threats. You must be online in order to download the latest updates. Simply click the "Update" button in the middle of the window to check for updates.

You will see a window like this come up:

Followed by this window:

Click "Yes" and after the update is downloaded and applied you should see:

Sometimes there will be other updates to the program available in which case you will also see the following window:

Click "Yes" and you should be presented with a window like this:

The program will automatically check the items it wants to download so all you have to do here is click the "Download" button at the lower right of the window. You will see the download progress at the lower left of the window as these updates are downloaded. It is normal for Ad-Aware to close and reopen after it has downloaded these types of updates and is applying them.

Now that Ad-Aware is updated you can start the scan by clicking on the "Scan Now" button on the right side of the window.

Before the scan starts you need to pick a scan type. We recommend using the "Full Scan" option. Once you have clicked onto it simply click "Scan" at the bottom right to start the scan.

Once the scan is finshed you will see the results window. At the top there are 3 tabs. The "Critical Objects" and "Privacy Objects" tabs are the important two. What you will need to do is make sure every item in the list is checked (as seen below). Start with the "Critical Objects" tab and once everything is checkmarked click on "Remove" to the lower right. Once everything is gone, go to the "Privacy Objects" tab and do the same thing. Sometimes there may be items that don't go away and other times Ad-Aware will tell you some items can't be removed until after a reboot. After all items on both tabs have been dealt with click "Finish" at the bottom right.

You are now finshed scanning with Ad-Aware 2007 !!

Spybot - Search & Destroy

Spybot - Search & Destroy is another spyware removal utility that we use to help detect and remove spyware. As with Ad-Aware, you want to make sure the program is up to date before running a scan with Spybot. To do so first find the icon for Spybot and open it up, it should look like this:

The first thing you will see is the main Spybot window. From there you will want to click on "Search for Updates"

Next, a window showing you all the possible update download locations will show up. Usually you want to pick one in the USA for a faster download, but any of them should work. If one does not, simply choose another one. Once you have selected one, click on "Continue" at the lower left.

Next a listing of all available updates will open up as shown below. Make sure all the items in the list are checked and then click on the "Download" button along the bottom. Once all the downloads are finsihed you may click the "Exit" button. Sometimes Spybot will need to restart itself to finish an update and you won't get a chance to click the "Exit" button, this is normal.

Once you are back to the main Spybot window simply click on the "Check for Problems" button to start a scan.

When the scan is completed, you will have a list of results like what is seen below.

Make sure each item in the list is checked and then click on the "Fix selected problems" button at the top. Spybot will then ask you to confirm that you want to remove these items as seen below. Click the "Yes" button and Spybot will begin removing these items.

Once Spybot is finished removing the selected items it will notify you of the actions it performed as seen below, click "Ok" to finish. Sometimes the program will ask to run on your next startup to scan and remove certain types of problems that it cannot do at the time. Select "Yes" and then restart the computer and follow the same steps as above.

You are now finished scanning with Spybot - Search & Destroy !!

AVG Free Antivirus

AVG Free is a free virus scanner that should be running in the system tray at all times. The icon for it looks like this.

This program should check for updates automatically every so often when you are online, however, to ensure that the program is up to date you can make it check for updates manually by right-clicking the icon in the system tray and selecting "Check for Updates" from the menu as shown below.

The screen shown below should appear and you will want to left-click on the "Internet" button to make the program check the Internet for updates.

If there are updates available you will want to make sure they are selected in the list then left click the "Update" button. This will make the program download and install the new updates and when it is finished the program will let you know. If the machine needs to reboot the program will also tell you that.

Windows Update

Windows Update is a feature built into Windows that allows you to easily install security patches and other updates for the Windows operating system. You can easily visit to make the computer scan for and install updates. The "Critical updates and service packs" are the most important updates and should always be installed. You can get to this site quickly by going to the "Tools" menu in Internet Explorer and selecting "Windows Update" as shown below.

Windows XP users have the added benefit of Automatic Updates. This feature makes the computer check for updates automatically, in the background, whenever you are on the Internet. To make sure that you have Automatic Updates enabled you can look at the System Properties window. This is accessed by going to the Control panel and selecting the "System" icon or right-clicking the "My Computer" icon and selecting "Properties" from the menu as shown below.

Once you have the System Properties window open make sure that you are on the "Automatic Updates" tab as shown below. You will notice that there are a few options available to you in this tab. You can select from:

1) Have the machine automatically download and install any updates that are found.

2) Have the machine automatically download all updates, but allow you to select which ones to install and when to do so.

3) Have the machine check for updates but not download and install anything until you tell it to do so.

Following the simple instructions listed above should help keep your computer running at its best for a long time to come.