Spybot Search & Destroy is a great little tool for Windows, if used properly. It isn’t a replacement for a virus scanner or security suite, but can provide a tiny bit of peace-of-mind.
The two areas Spybot S&D specifically helps with are:
1) Immunization – Preventing the problem before it starts
2) Temporary File removal
For Spybot S&D to have maximum effectiveness, you need to follow these instructions to the letter:
- Open Spybot S&D at least once every week
- Update Tab > Run the Update, choose a Mirror, and download any files
- Immunization Tab > CLOSE YOUR BROWERS and run the Immunization. This will protect your computer from *some* threats.
- Search & Destroy Tab > This is the “Full Search” – surprisingly, it’s not greatly useful, however it does delete Temporary Windows files at the beginning, so clicking “Check for problems” then immediately stopping the search sometimes can yield a noticeable and instant performance boost, a very easy way to clear out your temp files.
- On Windows Vista and Windows 7, you might need to “Run as Administrator”: Right click on the Spybot S&D Icon, click the “Compatibility” tab, and check the “Run this program as an administrator” box
Again, this is not a replacement for a virus scanner or firewall, it’s just a useful tool we recommend running on a weekly basis. We are just trying to nudge you in the right direction.
As is true with most software, not install the updates is a recipe for disaster. Updates and security patches are hugely important. If you don’t run the Spybot S&D Update first, you will not be benefiting from it very much. If you don’t run the Immunize, same story. Just bookmark this page and follow the steps above.
It’s difficult to gauge the effectiveness of Immunization, all I can say is people call me all day long asking how to fix their computer, by I don’t have the same problems – so I’m doing something right.
Of course, having common sense in how you use the internet, what you download, and what you install is key.
And good passwords, use really really good passwords.