Our first anti-spyware tool takes a simple approach. Rather than scanning and cleaning, SpywareBlaster aims to prevent malicious sites from installing unwanted software. The publisher of Spybot Search and Destroy recommends SpywareBlaster to control ActiveX installations.
The test computer was a Dell Optiplex GX1. (Yes, it’s ancient.) With a Pentium III 450, this computer is outdated compared to today’s latest offerings. It is good test computer though because the negative impacts of poorly behaving software are easily noticed.
The download is a small 2.4 MB file which can be retrieved from a variety of software distribution sites such as Download.com. The install is very quick and does not require a reboot.
Exploring The Application
SpywareBlaster has a very simple interface. The application has four tabs for Protection, System Snapshot, Tools and Updates. SpyareBlaster displays the Protection tab when started. From here you can get a quick summary of your protection level and enable/disable items. There also quick links to enable and disable everything. Clicking on the “Enable All Protection” blocks the 3530 items in the initial database.
The next major tab to visit is the Updates tab. You might need to add your proxy configuration under Options if your internet connection requires one. The updates takes only a few seconds to download and enable.
The Tools tab give you some direct access you make some browser customizations. SpywareBlaster even provides an interface for blocking Flash animations and selected ActiveX controls. With a quick Google search you can find block lists created by others.
The System Snapshot tab is handy for creating and point-in-time configuration backups.
SpywareBlaster is removed with the Add/Remove Programs interface in the Windows Control Panel. Even after SpywareBlaster is uninstalled, the registry settings remain intact. If you want to remove the settings, you need to disable all protection before uninstalling the application.
SpywareBlaster is a very simple yet effective tool for controlling those browse-by software installs. With regular updates, it is a very handy tool.