I got that title from Curb Your Enthusiasm, but I just wanted to write some stuff about my fun little experience with spyware and viruses galore.

I was looking around on the web for torrents and stuff (not like I would try to get illegal copies of software or movies or anything), and of course I hit one of those shady sites that opens a bunch of pop up windows and tries running all sorts of weird scripts. Well, one of them was pretty potent apparently, and my computer got all screwed up. It did all the standard tricks with Internet Explorer (yeah, yeah, maybe now I’ll finally switch to Firefox): changed my home and search pages, added about a million favorites, opened up dozens of popups whenever I opened the browser, etc. Windows also wasn’t safe, as it kept restarting explorer and wouldn’t let me open My Computer, Search, or even folders.

After trying to frantically use Ad-Aware, that didn’t really do much. I tried Spybot Search & Destroy, and that didn’t work too well either. I tried XoftSpy and Spyware Begone, which both seemed to find the problems, except you have to register and pay like $40 to have the problems actually removed. Thanks a lot assholes. I was actually so desperate this morning that I had my wallet out and was considering actually paying for one. But then, luckily, my cheapness prevailed and I did a few more searches. Turns out, Microsoft now has it’s own Spyware blocker, and I have to say this thing saved my life (well, my computer’s).

Yeah, so it’s still in Beta, but it really is awesome. Integrates into the shell nicely, does all sorts of stuff, and most importantly got rid of pretty much all the crap that was messing up my system. I was so happy. Oh, and here are the links, since I think everyone should give this a shot, especially if you have spyware messing up and clogging up your machine (PC).
Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta)

Trend Micro Free online virus Scan – caught all the worms and stuff