Installation and Usage
Spybot can be downloaded from the Spybot S&D website. The file comes in at a very reasonable 15MB. The first time Spybot starts, it will present you with a brief wizard walking you through backing up your registry and checking for the latest updates.
After the wizard completes, you’ll be shown the main user interface where you can run a scan, recover removed items, update or immunize your system.
Immunization is an interesting feature in that Spybot will automatically place known malicious sites into Internet Explorer’s restricted zone protecting you from malware should you visit one of these known malicious sites. It’s a great idea that works well. As of the time of this writing, Spybot blocks over 14000 known bad sites.
An antimalware tool is only as good as its update schedule. I’m happy to report that Spybot has recent updates for the most critical components. As Spybot releases updates for individual types of malware – dialers, Trojans, etc. some updates are more recent than others.
One note about Spybot’s user interface – the default interface starts in basic mode. You can easily change to Advanced mode – which I would recommend. In Advanced mode, you are able to schedule scans to run when convenient to you. There are also several other options and even advanced tools available under the Advanced interface.
Spybot also has a resident application that runs at all times protecting you from malware infection. It seems a bit odd the resident portion is called “TeaTimer" where the main Spybot program is called Spybot S&D (Search and Destroy). TeaTimer seems a bit nebulous to me – it sits and runs and if you hover your mouse over the taskbar icon, it states that you are being protected against over 200,000 bad processes, but it seems completely separate from the main Spybot application. Updates for TeaTimer are performed by the main application, but otherwise, they are quite separate. Doing a bit more research, it appears TeaTimer monitors active processes and if it detects a known malicious process, it will terminate it. You can also specify if you want TeaTimer to automatically terminate processes or just warn you.