We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
79,994 News Articles

The web's 10 best free security downloads

Keep your PC safe with these 10 free tools

We've rounded-up our 10 favourite security downloads for Windows that will help to keep your personal information private and secure.

HijackThis

Everybody should be using spyware-detection tools such as Lavasoft Ad-Aware or Spybot Search & Destroy - preferably both. But some malware is so nasty that it escapes detection from any spyware scanners and can't be removed by them, either.

So what can you do if your PC is acting strange and you suspect that you've been victimised by malware? Try downloading and using Trend Micro's Hijack This, and with the help of experts, you may be able to track down the source of the problem and then fix it.

The program examines your settings and the Windows registry, particularly those sections that are most likely to be vulnerable, and then saves all those settings in a log file. Those settings are the key to finding out if you've been infected. Experts can analyse the log, and from what they find, determine whether there's a spyware infection.

Where do you find the experts? The program lets you upload your log file to the HijackThis website, where others will examine it, let you know if there are any likely infections and tell you how to rid yourself of them. There are plenty of other discussion areas on the internet that will do the same; a Google search will turn up plenty of them.

HijackThis will also delete suspicious items, and it includes other useful tools, such as one that will generate a log of all programs that run on start-up. Keep in mind that if you're not an expert, you shouldn't try to use this program on your own. Think of it as a last resort when standard antimalware tools fail.

SpywareBlaster

Of course, the best way to protect yourself against spyware is to make sure that it doesn't install in the first place. That's where SpywareBlaster from Javacool Software comes in. It stops the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, browser hijackers and other malware, and can also block spyware cookies.

It includes extras as well, such as disabling Flash running in Internet Explorer. And it also lets you create a system snapshot, so that if at some later point you get infected with spyware, you can always revert to a clean system.

Note that if you don't use Internet Explorer, there's no need to install this software because Firefox, Opera and Safari don't use ActiveX.

NEXT PAGE: The benefits of F-Secure BlackLight Rootkit Eliminator and NoScript

  1. Keep your PC safe and secure for free
  2. Why we love SendShield and Avast Antivirus
  3. Hijack This and Spyware Blaster
  4. The benefits of F-Secure BlackLight Rootkit Eliminator and NoScript
  5. Why we love Comodo Firewall Pro
  6. Why McAfee SiteAdvisor and CCleaner are a must

Visit Security Advisor for the latest internet threat news, FREE net threat email newsletters, and internet security product reviews


IDG UK Sites

45 Best Android games: top Android games for your smartphone or tablet in 2014 (24 are free!)

IDG UK Sites

How Apple, Adobe, Microsoft and others have let us down over UltraHD and hiDPI screens

IDG UK Sites

Do you have the X-Factor too? Mix Off app puts fans in the frame

IDG UK Sites

iPad Pro release date, rumours and leaked images - 12.9 screen 'coming in 2015'