Spyware Terminator – Free Real-time Spyware Protection

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I’m a pretty careful guy so I tend to err on the side of caution when it comes to protecting my home machine from the ever increasing malware infestations we seem to be subjected to while surfing, downloading and uploading on the internet. Some might even consider it overkill.

Currently my home system is running the following freeware: Zone Alarm (3’rd most popular firewall among MakeUseOf readers), WinPatrol (system monitor), Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus, ThreatFire 3 (blocks zero-day attacks heuristically), SnoopFree Privacy Shield (anti-keylogger) and Spyware Terminator (spyware protection/removal). This is my minimum safety configuration; depending on circumstances, in addition, I will also use Sandboxie (a free sand box application).

As you can see, Spyware Terminator is my current application of choice in the spyware protection/removal category. Having tested virtually all of the major anti-spyware apps over the last year or more, I’ve settled, for now, on Spyware Terminator.

Spyware Terminator

A simple to use interface makes this program easy to setup, customize and run, for both less experienced and expert users alike.

Spyware Terminator provides strong active protection against known and unknown threats. If anything, I find it perhaps a little overly aggressive. On the other hand, better this than the alternative.

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The program rates very highly in offering protection against spyware, adware, Trojans, key-loggers, home page hijackers and other malware threats. The scan behavior can be customized based on your level of experience; ranging from automatic interception for the less experienced user, to manual potential threat control for the more experienced user.

Spyware Terminator 2

A definite plus is the program’s ability to schedule spyware scans on a daily or a weekly basis to ensure your computer’s continuing integrity. When set to download updates automatically, Spyware Terminator will check for, download and install new updates, keeping all files current with minimal user input. Optionally, you can choose to update manually.

Included with Spyware Terminator is Open Source ClamWin anti-virus, a reasonably effective anti-virus solution. My personal choice however has been to disengage this side of the package and to run Avira AntiVir Personal – Free Antivirus instead.

Quick Facts about Spyware Terminator

Real-time protection
Spyware removal
Automatic updates
Scheduled scans
On demand fast scan
On demand full scan
On demand customized scan
On Boot file remover
Context menu scan option
AntiVirus integration
Free support
Multilanguage support

System Requirements:

Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista

As we all know however, there is no one anti-malware tool that is likely to identify and remove all of the millions of rogue malware that infest the cyber world. So to ensure maximum safety, if that’s even possible, it’s important to have layered defenses in the ongoing fight against malware.

An excellent choice, as a secondary line of defense, is Spyware Doctor Starter Edition from PC Tools. This free version of the award winning program, with its easy to use interface, is used by millions of people worldwide to protect their computers; it’s reported there are a million+ additional downloads every week.

File protection is the only real time protection that operates in the free version and unfortunately, this level of real-time protection is inadequate in the current internet environment.

I would not recommend then, that you use this free version of Spyware Doctor as a stand alone security application because it simply will not offer you adequate protection. Instead, use it only as an on-demand scanner.

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Comments (18)
  • Iman Diaz

    I personally prefer MalwareBytes Anti-Malware but having a backup incase it takes a turn for the worst always helps!

  • Ameet

    Bill, whats your view on ‘Outpost Security Suite 2009′

  • lawiz

    spyware terminator is rock!! have been used for 1 year :D

  • DoneThat2

    Over the years, I used a variety of tactics and tools to make my PCs more secure. Back some two years ago, I settled on a common set of tools for each PC, including:

    Spybot immunization (manually update about every 3 months)
    Spyblaster immunization (manually update about every 3 months)
    XP Auto updates
    XP Firewall
    Gmail or Yahoo email, instead of desktop email client
    Auto clear on exit for Firefox history, cookies, & caches
    Limited user accounts for daily use

    I implemented these tools and policies on all family members’ PCs, including a teenager’s and a 90+ senior’s. Since doing the above, infections went from great frequency to zero (yes, zero). When anyone wants to install new software, they have to go into the administrator account via a password on the Welcome screen.

    For my own PC, I added the NoScript extension to Firefox, plus the Returnil Virtual System for when I’m testing freeware or browsing known areas of web infection drive-bys. I use an anonymization service that pretty makes my PC invisible, according to Gibson’s Shields Up. For those apps that dislike LUA’s, I use the freeware Raise My Rights to great affect.

    Once you get used to limited user accounts and the constant flushing of history and cookies, it’s not an annoyance, nor hindrance. In this mode, I’ve learned to rely more on frequent bookmarking, printing web pages to PDFs, and then desktop search tools to find what I need. (I also use Thunderbird to download old email about every 2 months.)

  • Aibek

    Bill, what are your thoughts about Windows Firewall? Do you think it’s a reliable tool? I have been using it for about 4-5 months now and it never alerted me about anything. Ok, maybe a couple times. So I am a bit bothered by that.

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Aibek,

      Windows Firewall has never been a particular favorite of mine; but that may well be predicated on my view that MS writes buggy apps. This is a personal view only and there are many who are satisfied with the effectiveness and efficiency of Windows Firewall.

      Just like you, I’m always a little suspicious of applications that just sit there and are short on communication skills – I find I want to yell “tell me something”. Using a small diagnostic application like CurrPorts and/or Windows Netstat gives me a reasonable indication of the strength and effectiveness of my firewall’s operations and forces the system to “tell me something”. Since I am a security freak, I test my Firewall 2/3 times a day; and yes I know many would consider this overkill.

      Another great tool is Steve Gibson’s ShieldsUp; a popular, reliable, and trusted, free Firewall testing site. Any questions concerning a Firewall’s settings and effectiveness can easily be settled by visiting this site.

      On June 1, Makeuseof.com covered the Netstat command and 2 free port analyzers CurrPorts and Process and Port Analyzer, any one of which can act as a reasonable test of your Firewall’s effectiveness.

    • Karl L. Gechlik

      “Since I am a security freak, I test my Firewall 2/3 times a day; and yes I know many would consider this overkill.”

      Hell no! I test and test and test some more! You can never be 2 sure! I use netStat habitually and also love ZoneAlarm for its ease of use and non-Microsoftness…

      You just know MS lets there crap phone home!

      ” Ohh I am being used in a not so legit way…Help me Mr. Gates… “Or hey look at me here is my IP, I am a pirate… Arrrrrr!!

    • Bill Mullins

      Hey Karl,

      I really appreciate hearing from a highly skilled geek like you, that I am not over reacting by testing so frequently.

      I can now tell my geeky friends to “get stuffed”.

      You’ve made my day. Gracias Amigo!!


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This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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