Guide to Removing Spyware
This article is more of a preventive measure than a fix and will harden internet explorers security but at the same time retaining the functionality that IE has.
First in tools, internet options, advanced uncheck "Enable Install On Demand (Internet Explorer)" and "Enable Install On Demand (Other)" and "Enable Third-Party Browser Extensions (Requires Restart)" and choose apply and ok. Also ensure your internet security setting is at least medium (unless you know what you are doing and have made it custom).
Goto http://www.windowsupdate.com and make sure you have all the latest updates.
Then download Suns Java JRE from http://java.com/en/index.jsp (the link you want to hit is the "get it now" in the top right). Running Suns Java protects you because it has less exploited vulnerabilities than microsofts Java. Lots of spyware use holes in Microsofts java to install thier spyware so switching to Sun's closes a lot of holes.
>> Download: Sun Java
Then download Spybot Search and Destroy from http://www.safer-networking.org/ run it and make sure to let it download the newest updates. Now goto Spybots immunize function and under "permanent internet explorer immunity" choose immunize, then under "permanently running bad download blocker for internet explorer" select "ask for blocking confermation and choose install.
>> Download: Spybot S&D
Next, download spyware blaster from http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html run it and ensure it's fully updated. Now choose "select all" and then hit "Protect Against Checked Items". Just for reference all the items that are in red are items that Spybots immunize doesn't protect you against that's why you should use both programs.
>> Download: Spyware Blaster
Both Spybot search and destroy's immunize function and spyware blaster are one time set things, these programs no longer have to be running to keep you from getting infected with the stuff they block against. What they do is disallow any activeX program that's was known to them at the time you immunized from even running. With both Spybot and Spyware Blaster it is important that you check for updates every two weeks or so and re-immunize yourself when new updates are released to stay current. Spybot's other immunize function ("permanently running bad download blocker for internet explorer") installs a BHO that will ask you for permission to block other known bad BHO's from installing. BHO's are really not needed and fairly rare and most people only have the adobe acrobat BHO. You could have set this option to always block but I chose "ask for blocking confirmation" for those people that use something that I do not that uses a BHO.
Now download both DSOstop2 and HTAstop2003 from http://www.nsclean.com/freebies.html and run both of those.
>> Download: DSOstop2. HTAstop2003
In addition there's another great free utility that you can run but unlike everything above it has to always be open just like an antivirus called spywareguard from javacool. You can download it and run it as well to further increase your security against spyware if you choose. It's available here: http://www.wilderssecurity.net/spywareguard.html
>> Download: Spyware Guard
That should beef things up considerably. Having a good antivirus is also helpful because many of them are starting to add spyware to thier definitions, for instance my McAfee 8 caught that spyware trying to install.
I hope this helps you guys because these settings are pretty solid but at the same time loose enough that you can still have active scripting enabled and activeX. Granted you could disable those as well but at that point you might as well go download an old version of Mosiac browser because it isn't worth using IE with everything disabled.
Spyware & Browser Hijack removal & links