What is anti-spyware
It’s a special type of software that detects, prevents and removes spyware programs. Spyware is a new-era malicious files and scripts that penetrate computers and networks without user’s knowledge or permission. The goal of such malware is to “spy” - to collect personal or business information, thus the name “spyware”. According to Wikipedia, there are 4 main groups of spyware: adware, system monitors, tracking cookies, trojans, and the most spread examples include keyloggers, rootkits, web beacons.
With the rise of such spyware, new methods and tools have appeared to prevent it, e.g. anti-spyware. This type of software by commercial tech companies as well as big antivirus vendors utilizes rule/definition methods to detect spyware. It can be used to remove spyware or, like an antivirus, to stop spyware on its way into the system. Modern security suites are adding anti-spyware features, as a rule.
Antispyware apps inspect data from email messages, websites, downloaded files, Windows registry, system files, etc. and then deletes files if they match known spyware. Real-time protection is identical to antivirus - file scanning, blocking spyware, stopping attempts to install external unwanted items. Developers of anti-spyware tools are devising new updates regularly to be able to counteract new and evolving digital threats.
Best anti-spyware tools
There are literally hundreds of security suites, anti-malware and anti-spyware programs. Which one is best depends on a number of factors, starting with user’s goals, features he is seeking, infrastructure, and budget, of course. One can also narrow down the search (to get results close to expectations) by googling phrases like “anti-spyware for Android”, “anti spyware for iPhone”, “antispyware for Mac”, “best free anti-spyware”, and so on.
Big antivirus companies, like Avast or McAfee, are also in the mix, as they are also adding antispyware tools to their packages. But if we take the big-three of Avast, AVG and Avira as search terms over the past 3 years, we see that they are losing their share, probably because of newly emerging niche security software.
Generally speaking, such spyware removal tools like Spybot ‘Search & Destroy’, Emsisoft Emergency Kit, Malwarebytes, Adaware, SUPERAntiSpyware, Comodo, SpywareBlaster, proved to be reliable over time and gained positive user and expert reviews. In the current Antispyware software category you can see over a hundred of products, so there’s plenty of choice for any needs. If you do not know where to start, we recommend reading our in-depth review of Top free anti-spyware programs first.
Overall, a good anti spyware app should be able to seamlessly clean a computer from spying worms and trojans, apply various methods of sophisticated malware detection, be able to monitor networks/processes/services/browsers, protect web cameras and microphones, have a quarantine and removal options..
Types / Features
An anti-spyware program should be able to detect and stop all kinds of spying applications: from domestic spyware used by employers or parents, legal commercial third-party spyware that tracks user’s online activities as a customer, to illegal malware collecting private data, recording user’s actions, installing viruses, scripts and so on.
Having analyzed dozens of these security tools, we’ve summarized the following common features:
- Active + passive protection
- Cloud security
- Camera protection
- Microphone protection
- Network monitoring
- Memory monitoring
- Processes monitoring
- Services monitoring
- Browser privacy check / browser files cleaner
- Privacy registry keys cleaner
- Ad blocker, app blocker
- Anti fingerprint tool
Anti-spyware tools are gaining more and more traction because of market demand. New kinds of malware, adware and spyware are emerging constantly, and the number of cyber attacks is rising, even posing a risk to state and international institutions, communications, infrastructure, military operations etc.
There are many sorts of such malicious things, e.g. URL loggers, screen recorders, web camera recorders, chat loggers, email interceptors, keyloggers, password recorders, browser hijacking, modem hijacking, trojans.
What is anti spyware?
A type of security software aimed at detecting, preventing and removing malicious files/programs/viruses that are “spying” on a user by collecting/stealing data or recording user’s actions. It is similar to antiviruses and anti-malware, acting like a shield against cyber attackers. Few most popular antispyware tools are SpyBot, Spyware Blaster, Adaware, Spyware Fighter.
What does anti spyware do?
Anti-spyware detects spyware on devices, alerts a user about it and asks whether to quarantine it or remove it. Such programs work in 2 ways: preventing in real-time (like antivirus) and scanning/removing spyware that’s already in the system. Antispyware tools usually are used to perform hard drive scans, registry scans, memory scans, and monitoring URLs.
What is the best anti spyware software?
Malwarebytes is quite popular among casual and expert users. There are SpyHunter, SpywareBlaster, SpyBot, Emsisoft, Comodo, SpywareFighter, Spyware Terminator. Internet security suites by Avast, AVG, Kaspersky, Eset, Norton, eScan, McAfee, Dr.Web, ESET cannot be ruled out too. To learn more be sure to check out Top free anti-spyware programs.
What is the best anti spyware for Android?
A typical modern security tool, antivirus, anti-malware or anti-spyware programs provide mobile versions as well. Check the above-mentioned tools. Popular antiviruses can also be installed as Android apps, e.g. Dr.Web Security Space, AVG 2019, ESET Mobile Security, Lookout, Sophos, Norton, TrustGo, Webroot, AntiSpy Mobile, Privacy Scanner, etc.
Why is anti-spyware important?
If you don’t like to be spied on, or even worse, extorted, anti-spyware is important. It will alert about the harmful files that try to get secretly installed and collect information - personal data, browsing habits, etc. Obviously, anti-spyware is highly recommended in our age.
How to install/uninstall anti spyware?
The usual routine as with any other software: download a file, double-click it, follow the steps in the installation wizard. It should not take more than 5 minutes. To uninstall, go to control panel - programs tab - find your software - click Uninstall - wait and then reboot the PC.
About review process
We review top software products of given category, usually 10 to 15, and post it on our ThinkMobiles blog. We take reviews seriously, so it takes a while, however we’ll try to cover as many categories as possible. We want to bring value to readers of our reviews, so instead of few sentences and pictures, we install and run each program for few days, study every feature, test the performance, explore all possibilities and limitations, make screenshots, record all the data.
Afterwards, we summarize the data, parameters, pricing, etc. in a comparison table, compile our experiences with each product into descriptions, pros and cons, add download/trial links. As a rule, we devote a separate chapter to performance tests measuring times it takes for software to execute various tasks. Finally, our reviews are independent and unbiased, we apply the same due process and testing for the advertised products.