WinPatrol PLUS v11.3.2007

This program uses a simple yet effective method of fighting all kinds of malicious programs. It inspects several Windows system spots that malware is most likely to alter, including programs launched at start-up, browser helper objects, scheduled tasks, services, and cookies.

The latest version is fully compatible with Windows Vista, although it remains to be seen at how it handles malware that's been designed to beat Vista. The app consumes few resources, doesn't slow your PC, and is highly customizable. You can set the interval between checkups; the default is every three minutes. If something new installs on your PC, the program notifies you and asks whether you want the newcomer. This won't cure serious infections, but it will save you from annoying adware and malicious sites that hijack your browser's home page. You can view full reports in HTML format, and the app even lets you manage which programs launch on system start-up.

Improved cookie handling is taken care of by Pinky the Squirrel, who eats "cookies with nuts"--that is, cookies that contain user-defined nuggets of text, such as ads. Users who install a lot of new software will find the program invaluable.