Detection is the second step in eliminating spyware and adware from your computer system. When trying to win the battle against spyware, it is highly recommended that you download a spyware detector along with a blocker and a cleaner. These three types of programs are designed to:
- Prohibit spyware from installing itself on your computer, thus stopping the issue before it begins
- To regularly scan your computer system in order to detect any spyware that may have snuck in; this can halt the spyware before it does any damage
- To uninstall and erase any spyware that is found; this removes the threat and prevents future complications
Unlike a virus scan, which can be a package deal, just one type of program will not fix your spyware and adware problem. While an anti-virus program such as McAfee or Norton Antivirus will search for, quarantine, and destroy a virus, spyware is a bit more complicated. Spyware frequently morphs, so if your blocker program happens to miss spyware code, there is always the chance that the detector will be able to find and recognize it before the spyware installs itself onto your computer.
A spyware detector will alert the user to the presence of spyware on his or her computer, e.g. Spyware Doctor , published by PC Tools, is software that offers a detection program. PC Tools says, " Spyware Doctor is a multi-award winning spyware removal utility that detects, removes and protects your PC from thousands of potential spyware, adware, trojans, keyloggers, spybots and tracking threats." A feature called OnGuard runs consistently to monitor your computer and detect any tracking cookies a major aspect of spyware. Bundled with a removal program, Spyware Doctor is considered 'shareware' and can be purchased via a number of online computer sites, although PC Tools does offer a free scan trial offer.
Another type of detector, called HijackThis , is a tool that prevents something called 'homepage hijacking.' Homepage hijacking occurs when your computer's homepage is reset to a completely different URL. It's an annoying situation for the helpless user and is considered a type of spyware. HijackThis is intended for advanced computer users, as one must be familiar with the inner workings of his or her computer in order to set the HijackThis features. For example; you can select which programs and startup items to run, and then you also have the ability to remove certain programs.