Microsoft Antispyware Products
1) Free Antispyware from Microsoft - Windows Defender: One of the best free spyware software is the Microsoft Defender. The software is embedded in Windows Vista so you need not download it separately. For operating systems released after Windows 2000, you can download the Microsoft Defender without paying anything extra. Before you can install the spyware software, you will have to go through a validation process to prove that your Windows installation is a genuine one. In addition to offering protection against spyware, the Windows Defender also offers real time protection against adware, unwanted cookies, and other malware.
Please note that the Windows Defender cannot be installed using Windows updates. You will have to install it separately. If you have any antivirus or firewall running, you need to turn it off while you install the product. Before you install the Windows Defender, you will have to upgrade your Windows Installer to version 3.1 or above. In addition, you should be running Internet Explorer 6 or above to install the program.
2) Free Online Scan from Windows OneCare: Microsoft offers a free online scan (OneCare Safety Scanner) for your computer. You can select the Full Scan or Protection Scan. The Full scan removes virus, spyware and other malware from your system. It also performs a disk cleanup as well as a registry check. If you want to check out only for spyware, virus, and other malware, you can opt for Protection Scan.
2.1) Problems with the Free Online Scan: Before you can run the free spyware scan, Microsoft will download some files to your computer. This download also takes almost 20 minutes on a 256Kbps connection. The time taken to scan the entire computer depends on the configuration of the computer. In all, it is a very lengthy process, useful only if you have any doubts about your antispyware. It is not recommended that you use this service on speeds less than 256 Kbps as it may cause the computer to stop responding.
If you do not intend to run the free spyware scan in future, you can remove the online scan files from Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel. Please note that the free OneCare Safety Scanner is available only for Genuine Windows.