Spy Sweeper Review

Dennis Faas's picture

If told you that 9 out of 10 PC's are infected with some form of Spyware, would you be concerned? According to Webroot Software, you should be!

In general, Spyware is software which records information about you or your computer usage -- without your knowledge -- and then relays this information to a third party (quite often, for marketing purposes). Spyware has the ability to trace your every keystroke, and may record things such as passwords, credit card numbers, email addresses, and other personal information.

All of this makes Spyware a serious threat to privacy and the protection of your identity.

How does Spyware get on your Computer?

Almost all Spyware software comes through the Internet. The most intrusive form of Spyware is also referred to as adware, which often comes bundled with other "free software". Some of the most notorious programs which contain Spyware components include: Gator (a form-filling program), Kazaa Media Desktop (a file sharing program), Hotbar (an Internet Explorer plug-in), and Bonzi Buddy (a scheduler / multi-purpose program).

Spyware software also comes in other flavors, including: web browser cookies (designed to track pages you visited), keyloggers (which record your key strokes), and Trojans (software which can maliciously harm your computer).

Removing Spyware and Adware from your System

I've recommended a two software programs in the past (AdAware and Spybot S&D), but today I'm going to review Webroot's Spy Sweeper. Webroot has an outstanding track record for developing software aimed at consumer privacy and protection, and has won many awards.

Spy Sweeper: a Quick List of Features

  • [At the time of writing this article]: Can Detect and Remove more than 7,430 traces of Spyware: Spy Sweeper can detect and remove all common forms of Spyware programs, including: Trojans, system monitors, keyloggers and adware.
  • Relentless Real-Time System Protection: Spy Sweeper can dock in the system Tray bar and alerts if Spyware is encountered *before* it has a chance to make its way onto your system.
  • Automatic Updates: protection and peace of mind -- even as new threats emerge.
  • Detailed Spyware Definitions: Spy Sweeper gives you the knowledge needed to determine which programs on your system are safe, and which programs are questionable.
  • Integrated real-time Spy News: Spy Sweeper can inform you of recent Spyware news to aid in avoiding future infection.

I decided to install Spy Sweeper on my own system.

Here is what I found:

The Spy Sweeper user interface is laid out in a sequence of 3 easy steps. In all, Spy Sweeper took a little over 5 minutes to complete an in-depth examination of 29,355 files and folders, and found 38 traces of Spyware on my system.

Step 1: Sweep Now: Once the "Start" button is clicked, Spy Sweeper lists the files it scans in real-time and categorizes the number of Spyware files located on the system. Once complete, the "Next" button is highlighted to proceed to Step #2.

Step 2: Remove Spyware (and Quarantine): On this page, a list of all questionable files found on the system are displayed, along with a short description of each Spyware component. The user may then decide which system files should be quarantined and removed from the system.

Step 3: Results: After clicking on the "Next" button in Step 2, all check-marked files are quarantined. The results of the system scan (including quarantined items) are listed on Page #3.

Side Note: When a file is quarantined, it is temporarily removed from the system (out of harms way). To permanently erase a quarantined file, click the Quarantined Menu, select all or some files, and press the "Delete" button.

Spy Sweeper: Options Menu

The "Options" menu allows users to configure Spy Sweeper according to preference, including:

  • Configure: Set which drive letters to scan, skip [defined] file sizes, or set Spy Sweeper task priority.
  • Schedule: Schedule Spy Sweeper to run on certain day or time intervals.
  • Active Shields: Spy Sweeper can actively monitor the system for Spyware components via the web or by monitoring the system memory -- an excellent and useful feature.
  • Always keep / remove: Spyware components can be selected to remain, or to be removed without further interaction.

Spy Sweeper: Download

Spyware is getting more difficult to detect and remove, as new Spyware threats emerge daily. Webroot's Spy Sweeper can keep you one step ahead of these ever-changing threats with unparalleled Spyware protection.

Spy Sweeper can be downloaded immediately after choosing to purchase a 1 year subscription ($29.95) or 2 year subscription fee ($39.95 / save $19.95) . The subscription includes unlimited updates and technical support.

As of this moment, Spy Sweeper (1 year subscription) is currently on sale for $19.95. I'm not sure when this offer ends -- although I suspect most likely near the end of the month. Hurry and jump on this offer now -- you won't regret it (heck, $19.95 for a *year* worth of protection is dirt cheap)! I highly recommend and have been using this software on my PC for the last 1.5 years. Details here:


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