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Recommended Free Spyware Removal for Macs

written by: DeborahWoehr•edited by: Michael Dougherty•updated: 9/12/2010

Have you searched for free spyware removal software for macs and come up empty-handed? I found several free trial versions of the most popular commercial anti-spyware and decided to test MacScan. Read about my experience with this software.

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    Free Spyware Removal Software for Macs

    As a Mac User for 20 years, I had fallen under the complacency trap that Macs aren’t prone to getting infected with spyware as PCs can. I have always owned a Mac virus program, such as ClamXav, which does a great job of getting rid of the viruses that have popped up on occasion. But I never thought to check out spyware removal software until I decided to write this article.

    While I couldn’t find any free spyware removal software for macs, I found plenty of shareware from various software companies such as Smith-Micro and Intego. They allow prospective customers a 30-day free trial of their spyware removal software.

    After performing some research for reviews of these programs, I decided that MacScan was a good spyware removal software to try for my Mac.

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    Using MacScan for the First Time

    The first thing MacScan did after I installed it was ask me if I wanted to run my scan in authenticated mode, which scans all files, regardless of permissions. I accepted that and let it run in the background while I worked on my projects. Once MacScan completes the run, it will sit there until you are ready to to look at it.

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    You Have Spyware!

    Much to my surprise, I found ten spyware files sitting in the MacScan queue. I got rid of them with one click of my mouse. A couple of hours later, I ran my keyword research tool and discovered that it ran two times faster than it ever had since I installed it. I became a MacScan convert right then and began exploring the program more thoroughly.

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    Scan Menu

    This section allows you to perform a quick scan, full scan or custom scan. Quick Scan will scan the home folder for the current user. Full Scan will scan your entire hard drive. The process for the full scan could take several hours, depending on the number of files contained on your hard drive. Custom Scan will scan a specified folder, data CDs, DVDs or other hard drives.

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    Web Files Menu

    MacScan will scan and clean the cookies, history, downloaded files list and temporary cache list of the following web browsers:

    Web Menu for MacScan Camino

    Firefox

    iCab

    Internet Explorer

    Netscape

    Opera

    Safari

    SeaMonkey

    Shiira

    The only downside I experienced was that it wiped out my username and password data that I had stored on the cookies. Fortunately, I had that information memorized so that reentering the information was not a big deal.

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    Info Section, Scheduler and Prefs

    The Info section will give you the definitions of trojan horses, viruses, malware, keyloggers, etc. I found this to be extremely useful and informative.

    The Scheduler allows you to set the time and day for your scans. Prefs is a two-option submenu that allows you to detect remote admin programs and automatically check for updates.

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    Conclusion

    Rating Average

    If I were to test MacScan all over again, I would give my hard drive a thorough cleaning first because I feel that this impacted the length of the scanning process. I liked how I could work while the program ran in the background. Even better, I appreciated the increase of my Mac’s speed once I used this spyware removal software. MacScan is not a memory hog, unlike other popular anti-virus and spyware programs.

    After having such a positive experience with the free trial, I plan on buying the full version once the trial expires. I may buy it sooner, since I can get it on Amazon for half the price (as of September 2010).

    Download the free trial at: MacScan