Most of these utilities have been mentioned elsewhere on Martha's web, but since spyware is becoming more and more of a problem I decided to list those programs here as well. Something to be aware about; do NOT use a search engine to find a spyware remover. Too many of the sites listed will not be the best although they will claim they are. Some of the programs listed could actually be spyware!
A good spyware remover is SUPERAntiSpyWare Free Edition. This program does run in the background. You can turn it off and just use it to run scans when you suspect you may have spyware on your computer.
Malwarebytes removes some tough to remove spyware and is my choice of spyware removers.
Microsoft has a spyware remover named Windows Defender. This program has been integrated into Microsoft's Security Essentials. MSE is totally free and does an excellent job. I am using it on two computers with good results.
I also suggest you use SpywareBlaster and SpywareGuard. They also need to be updated, but SpywareGuard doesn't have frequent updates. Here is what the website for SpywareBlaster has to say: "SpywareBlaster doesn't scan and clean for spyware - it prevents it from ever being installed." SpywareGuard acts just like your virus scanner, but for spyware!
All of these programs together are a great arsenal for the cyber war, but they must be kept updated to work. One more thing of note, sometimes a program may stop working after running, so always keep the option to 'undo' changes. Just read this article on PC Mag!
Microsoft® Windows® Malicious Software Removal Tool
This tool does not install on your computer, but runs when you go to Windows Update after you select the tool. Read all about it on Microsoft's site. Please note; This tool works only on Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 2000, Vista and Windows Server 2003. There is also an online version, Malicious Software Removal Tool Online Version. You will need to verify that you have a genuine version of Windows before the tool will scan.
Comodo Internet Security This free security suite has it all, even a sandbox. Users of this product swear by it and it has high ratings. A good choice for folks looking for free security protection.
Another spyware removal program that has great standings is CounterSpy from Sunbelt Software. CounterSpy is available as a free 15 day trial that removes what it finds. They also have the popular firewall, Kerio.
It is a good idea to download and install your choices now, BEFORE you get a malware infection!
Spyware Removal Help Instructions for removing some of the most persistent spyware
Rootkit Scanner/Removers Have you noticed a computer slow down? An unknown process running? It could be a rootkit that your AV has not detected.