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 popular 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.
READ ALSO: Best Antivirus for PC
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 (Windows Defender built into Windows is fine too) and a firewall (included with Windows), on a PC updated regularly in all its applications, it will be more difficult to be affected by infections.
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 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 into Windows).
The general precautions concern not downloading files at random do not open internet pages that warn to “interact” with the computer, not downloading unknown extensions or plugins recommended by the sites (they are always viruses!), and avoiding Web pages with too many advertisements.
We are also careful when we visit gambling, casino, pornography, cash games, and crack sites: on these sites we never open banner ads, we do not download programs that are unknown and those that are advertised “too much”, such as also seen in our guide on how to block and fix problems with pop-ups and strange sites that open.
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 does 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 can behave like 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 definitely 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, and 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 effect is obtained with the commercial license.
- AdwCleaner: another very powerful and effective program, able to eliminate 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 be done only in case of real need since it can slow down the computer. Superantispyware is perfect in its own right portable version which can be copied onto a USB stick and used if new programs cannot be installed on the PC.
- Malware Fighter di IOBitan 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 is 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.
If the spyware is hidden very deep in the system and we are unable to eradicate it (behaving like real malware), we recommend that you scan your PC with the free scanner ESET Online Scanner or by using one of the programs seen in our guide to Best Anti-malware to find even hidden spyware.
Using the right programs We can protect your PC from snoopers with programs designed to collect user data for advertising, banners, and selling user habits. 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 lies in the fact that the very concept of spyware is not defined and some programs also report dubious and often false positives files, so It is always worth trying more than one product in order 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 removing malware, spyware, and fake antivirus from the infected computer. If we find it difficult to remove computer threats we can also read our guide to Best Removal tool to eliminate adware and spyware.