Good anti-Spyware programs work on two levels. The first is spyware scanning and removal. It works on the same principle as that of anti-virus software and is quite popular and common among corrective software. The second level is real-time spyware protection or blockage. This is a little more difficult and requires some sophistication. It scans incoming internet traffic to your PC and identifies and blocks potential threats from installing to your PC.

With either level, just like in any anti-virus program, all good anti-spyware programs require frequent regular updates on newly discovered spyware definitions. You can’t identify and remove something that isn’t defined in your spyware database. Neither can it do so in real time for incoming threats the software does not recognize.

There are excellent Anti-Spyware software tools on the net that are freeware or can be purchased. Some of the free spyware removal tools are:

The more mainstream anti-everything software from Symantec, Norton, McAfee and Sophos presumably have more robust engines and come with network versions for corporate use. They have recently added anti-spyware engines to their current line of anti-virus software that offers true real-time protection. Many traditional anti-virus companies have dedicated software programs to address the growing spyware menace separately. For instance, Grisoft, maker of the popular AVG Anti-Virus came out with its AVG Anti-Spyware program. So did Zone Labs of the Zone Alarm fame.

There are new spyware programs that increasingly make it difficult for some anti-spyware program to overcome. If a spyware escapes detection and gets installed, it could resist future attempts to remove it. Some spyware are so designed to reinstall and repair itself if one or two of its registry components are removed. This is possible if the anti-spyware program does not do a thorough job of disabling the spyware, notwithstanding updates to its database. There are instances though when booting the PC in safe mode can allow the anti-spyware to do a better job. You can always re-install the Windows OS to get rid of spyware pest. This always does the job. But it’s unnecessarily laborious and if you restore some infected files, you’re back to square one.
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