How do I COMPLETELY remove all spyware and set strongest security settings?

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How do I COMPLETELY remove all spyware and set strongest security settings?

I have always been "old school" and preferred to avoid computers whenever possible; so let me start with apologizing for my lack of knowledge, my stupidity for not ever signing up for a computer course and for the length of the explanation below.

Since last November (possibly farther back on an old PC) I have been stalked/harrassed--and I say stalked because I am aware a normal hacker is smart enough to "get in and out" without me knowing---Except for his identity this person has made every attempt to make his presence known leaving dead-end trails of everything he is doing.

1) I need help removing all Spyware, malware, and viruses from my late 2011 Macbook pro, iPhone, and my daughters toshiba notebook and her All-in-1 Gateway PC.

2) I need to know how to prevent this Stalker from gaining access again and how to set highest security on all devices.

I've tried the following repeated times and none of them have worked.
I have re-set all devices to factory setting numerous times.
I have purchased Norton and MacAudit, web root, along with multiple other "apps". I have enabled all security settings from the devices user guides, microsoft security essentials, and have set strongest firewall settings on mac book pro, toshiba notebook, and gateway pc. The Norton software kept changing settings and bypassing --not scanning-- "trusted" certificates. Then kicked me out stating I didn't have administrative rights.
I have taken devices (all bought Nov 2011) back to Apple and Best Buy numerous times. Best Buy has a 14day return policy and the warranty doesn't cover viruses.
Apple refused to say there was anything wrong--they would just reset the devices and reset my security settings--even when they re-configured my hard drive and the laptop crashed again that same day--they swore Mac's don't get viruses....finally after the 4th time the "genius associate" was nice enough to pass me a note with steps to secure my wifi and he whispered I needed to hire "someone" because I had a "serious" issue---but legally all he could do is reset my computer and say nothing was found wrong--then the manager sent him to the "back" and took over the (re-configuring) --he treated me horribly--and rushed me out of the store.
I originally had Time Warner wifi--and they constantly said I didn't have a problem and all security setting were set properly--they just kept pointing the finger back at Apple. Apple pointed finger at Time Warner.
I hired an IT specialist "house call". This person basically dismissed me ---until he had to fight for control of my laptop (with whoever is stalking me). I could only afford 2hr house call and in that time all that the IT tech was able to find out was that my router was OPEN to the public and he took a log of my laptop and my daughters--but never got back to me with who the person is or how to stop it from continuing--he wanted more money.
I went to the police; after an hour of trying to find out which department they should direct me to they said they didn't have the resources and it would be like chasing a ghost. They instructed me to contact the FBI. The FBI said because my identity hadn't been stolen or a specific threat was not placed on my life--it was out of their jurisdiction and I needed to go back to the police.
I decided to move--hoping it would help--it didn't. Oh..and while I was moving my things from my apartment to the moving truck "someone" broke down my front door and broke the lock (I was only gone 20min). Other than the front door being wide open (when I had locked it) and the Lock completely damaged there was no evidence--and nothing was taken so the police were not able to do anything other than direct me to the FBI again. Of course, FBI directed me right back to police and told me I had to "make" the police do their job---it was a local issue.

Below is a small list of things this person has been doing.

1. He continually "fights me" for control of my computer screen and iPhone screen by re-sizing the screen, by changing keyboard shortcut commands, by restricting my access "you don't have administrative rights"--I'm the only user and some of these folders and or files I was the original creator, then by crashing the laptop/iphone as soon as I am able to regain access...etc.
2. this person went as far to put "his" picture as the owner of one of my email accounts---SO every time I open an email from that account his picture pops up (I doubt its a real pic of him). He repeatedly changes the passwords and recovery info on all of my emails--blocking me from gaining access for weeks at a time)--I've had to close and create new accounts multiple times.
3. I happen to bcc myself on an email (using a new email) and when I selected "show all details" of header--there was TWO emails BCC and I didn't create one of them. This person created a Spring PM account for me --with password and everything---he was able to receive a copy of all of my texts and pictures--shortly after finding out about this email he changed my password to my main Sprint account and had my text messaging removed along with my cellular data--Sprint security said this was above them and I had to go to the Police.
4. I have multiple screen-shots of hidden folders/files some that have dates as far back as 2007?? Again my devices are all brand new from November 2011. --Side note--the hidden files/folders are not the ones that are normally hidden for the protection of the system. I also have multiple screen shots of recent history into apps and folders I had not gone into or modified.
5. He has embedded my ICHAT icons with commands (discovered when I clicked restore to original photo)--I never created a logon for ICHAT and I never tried to use that app---but it was constantly showing up in my recent history.
6. In the history I could see my photos and files dropped into the public folder thru "airdrop?" --even though I put all my settings as private and DO NOT SHARE...
7. He crashed and remotely removed my Lion software (or is it a hard drive?) from my new Mac laptop 4 different times. Despite setting all security settings Apple instructed me to do...he has been able to bypass AND change those settings---oh, and prevent me from changing it back.
8. I continually have to disable the setting for FaceTime and photo booth but keep seeing both apps in my history and files from them being "dropped" into the public folder.

This person has invaded my privacy, harassed me, stolen my pictures, my info--all through my mac laptop and my iPhone --- I gave up and quit using both devices for awhile hoping this person would get bored and leave me alone---he got worse-- when he couldn't access me through my devices...he went after my daughters toshiba notebook and all in one gateway PC.

I was a quality manager during the day and I Bartend at night so you can imagine the amount of people I come in contact with on a daily basis. I have no idea who is doing this or why; I just want him to leave me and my daughters alone. I've learned a lot on my own (online) since this has started but I am still a beginner and just need a credible Step by Step guide on what to do and how to completely remove this person out of all of my devices and keep him out. I do not have the funds to hire another IT Tech or buy new computers. One thing I am doing is....looking into IT classes--Ignorance is definitely NOT BLISS.

I want to thank you for just taking time out of your day to read this HOT mess and I appreciate any help or advice you can give me.
Clarifications Clarifications
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This guy is persistent. Never heard of such.

I'm no expert but the advice you have been given seems sound.

The things I would do:

1. Get rid of the router and get a router that has superior security.
2. ONLY use wired as wireless is much less secure.
3. Take the PCs back to a minimum installation and don't put any of your personal files on it until you get this guy/gal locked out for good as you will spend an inordinate amount of time restoring every time you redo your system. And, it may remove infected files. After you're satisfied they have been locked out I would move a folder in at a time, maybe a folder a day until I was satisfied they are gone for good.
4. Get a packet sniffer and learn how to use it. They probably make a version of WireShark for the Mac. This may give you a clue as to what is going on. It may require an expert in the end but it sounds like this guy is using a commonly used tool to gain access to screen sharing/control capabilities. The Mac is running Darwin in the background and X with all it's components may even be installed which may give them the capability of controlling your system.
5. De-install all applications down to just the bare minimum. Things like web browsing is the only thing I would have on there. I would limit my visits and definitely log where I go and when. Space out the visits to each different location to see if you can find out which one he may be using, if any. I would even go as far as getting an imager that would burn an image of the OS after I de-installed all unnecessary apps, that I could use to reset the Mac every time something goes wrong. Research every process that is running and make sure you absolutely have to have it in order for the system to run.
6. Write down all processes that run after the initial installation and then monitor the processes to find out when that changes and what has been added. Research anything that gets added. Do this before connecting to the Internet. Then, after connecting to the Internet, continue monitoring to find the added processes.
7. I would not install Malware and Antivirus products since they have been useless so far. I would only do this once the problem has been resolved. Doesn't sound like he's using a known Malware/Antivirus signature that is being recognized anyway. Like I said MINIMAL, bare bones installation.
8. As another poster pointed out, when you set up the wireless connection use MAC filtering on the router so that it filters out anything that doesn't involve your MAC address on your Mac. Sounds a bit confusing but the MAC address is assigned by the manufacturer and is unique to each computer built. I would set up the wireless connection only after I ran pest free on the wired connection.
9. Do not use the wireless connection on your iPhone. Turn off wireless and use 3G only until you get this resolved. And, don't let your daughter connect to your local network at all either with her PC or phone. turn off networking on her system until this is resolved. He/she may be using the PC as a back door.
10. If you still want to employ a Mac expert, you already know the things to ask at this point but I will re-iterate:
1. First question to the candidate is, do you believe Macs can get viruses/malware/root kits, etc.
2. Secondly, have you any experience removing any viruses/malware, etc. on a Mac.
3. Do you have any experience securing wireless routers.
4. Do you have any Unix experience
5. Do you have any experience with packet sniffers.
6. Outline to me what your basic approach to security is.
7. Do you have any experience with non-technical security breaches (social, etc.)
8. Are you willing to work on a per problem basis and only get paid if you're successful after a cool down period like a week or a month (at your discretion). If they know what they're doing and are very confident they may not only agree to that but may even help you out just for the challenge rather than the money.
I may have missed something in this list but you should get the idea.

This list is not in the correct order but you shouldn't have any trouble figuring out the order. If you need any more advice I'll get the email as I have selected the Email me any responses checkbox. Like I said, I'm not a security expert but I might be able to contribute a small portion to the ultimate solution with everyone else here.

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I can understand your problem, and it sounds like a huge one! I would like to send you a private message, but I can not do so unless you choose to follow me. You can click my TR name, jpnagle59, at the bottom of the post and it will take you to my little old page, click the 'Follow Button' and that will allow us to have a private message. You can always 'Un-Follow' me after that. Just want to discuss some items with you...respectfully, jpnagle59.

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I too had the same desire. That said, choose a person and stick with them. Too many chefs spoil the broth.

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Collapse - is comforting to know that there are good people here who DO want to help...

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Someone is messing up your life - of course. If you have reset all passwords and carried out all forms of security changes, then the answer must lie elsewhere.
One thing at a time. Just secure one computer - yours. It is important that YOU control everything. Sorry to say this, but keep your daughter out.
See what happens.
Come on back and we will go from there.

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All the above have Good Suggestions!! There are Many aspects to the whole issue of Security for the Internet and the BEST I've Come across is "DON'T GO ON THE INTERNET" Yep I'm Not Kidding You!! The Practicle aspect of that statement is of course is Rediculous!! It's too valuable a Resource NOT TO GO ON! So Solution's to Defence while on the Internet are firstly to understand the ins and outs of what and How Hackers and Virus's, Keylogger's etc do!
There are many good article's at Techrepublic which offer advise and would suggest you read as many of them and follow the Links. This will help you understand (EG How a 15 year old spent 90 days on the Internet and Hacked 269 Companies) what your up against. You must then decide on a good Internet Security Anti-Virus Tool install it and do a FULL Scan of your System.
I Use Kaspesky Internet Security 2012 and recomend it!! It's harder to Use from an end User's point of view, BUT IT DOES THE JOB, so a little effort on the users Side is worth its weight in Gold. I also use the Windows Defender (Microsoft Security Essentials V4..0 is Latest) and MalwareBytes on Win 7 Pro as an added precaution. My Previous (Norton Anti-Virus Let me Down Badly!!).
Make Use of the Router FIREWALL and YOUR INTERNET SECURITY software's firewall!! Yep I combine the two of them and My SetUp Works well!! Check with your ISP Provider AND Manufacturer what Security features are provided with the equipment you have.. You may Need to Upgrade!! As for Some Idiot who actually rang me at home and tried to tell me they were from Window's (Not Microsoft) and that there was a problem with the firewall and ASKED ME WHAT FIREWALL I was using!! I told HER that I Didn't have a problem with my smoke detector's and that they all worked fine and didn't need a firewall! Also asked her What a FIREWALL was? She Hung Up! Unfortunately My Telecommunications Provider wasn't able to trace the caller in time!! BUT.. I leave that part for the moment, the point is you will need to have a good firewall!!
After a number of experiences (I've been in IT since 1968) I actually have a front end computer purely for the Internet Only! Only after some automated Scanning and antiVirus/Spam checking right down to RootKit level Checking do I Allow a connection and transfer only the Data Content I want!! Once Bitten Twice Shy!!!
The Front end Computer is a costly way and not practicle for many, But I Suggest that you never keep any personal information on your computer, shy away from Social Media Site's and be careful where you go on the internet!! Kaspersky and other's have site filtering and Kaspersky also has a way of checking downloaded file's. Also keep an eye open for Sites which divert you to another site! If you Place your mouse over a link it will show that link either in the bottem of your browser or a Balloon! If clicking on the link take's you to a site other than what was displayed, get out of the browser and offline as quickly as possible!!
Moral of the story is you have to be vigalent and very very wary!! As indicated above there are some out their that have nothing to do all day but try and steal information of your computer or worse still damage/corrupt your system to the point of no return!!
All in All it's your decision as to what and how you implement your internet security and there is NO magical fix to stop hackers or virus's! Maybe the legal system should attack the attackers and put cybercrime in it's place so that us genuine end users can get on with it!!
Last but NOT least, SELF Education and SPENDING SOME TIME RESEARCHING IT Security would help you make some informed decisions. A good starter would be to understand the Operating system that you use and find out what it's weakness's are and what it's strengths are as far as Security is Concerned! Then Check out a Good Internet Security System and Spend some Time learning about it!! Free Software can be good, BUT be caredul, you only get what you pay for!! Understand also the communications equipment you are using and it's strengths and weakness's!! Wireless is great, BUT.... Personally I won't touch it with a bar of soap!! ALL my stuff is wired!!
Bottom line is and without being rude, it sounds like you are in for a high learning curve!! To get you started though, suggest you download and install MalwareBytes and DO A FULL SCAN!! Next learn and implement as much security (Software and Hardware) as posible to meet your requirements!!! Don't believe everthing Sale's People, Manufacturers or even what's on the internet! Verify information from multiple sources!!

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Hello PaperNpen
I have read your article and the responses. I do sympathise with you because I have 2 children who have been abducted 7 years ago. In 1998 the Abductor got me into computers , as a way to keep me at home and put all my records on electronic media I was also old school but I do not regret learning about Computers but that person does not use Computers themselves and let my kids get any electronic communication toys so they can not seek me I can not seek them. I can not call and write. I go to the place but the Yaqooza Qeisatsoo put me in detention.

But I know where they are. Anyway my Computer is under scrutiny by them and they copied my Time machine Disk and I found they were controlling and peeping into my Computer what ever I did trying to get my kids back ,they are actually living near me too. I became a Muslim 6 years ago because of this because only God can help to get my Kids back.

I do not care about security because there is no real security, all the others are telling you what to do but if you came on line the person already knows.

You have to be cunning and clever to trap the person into thinking that and you are doing so and so but yo are doing another thing and this and lead the person to you and then strike.

This is a physical thing not virtual, this person who is tracking ,stalking, hunting you seems to have worked or is working for the for the security police or blackmail or frame you use you something sometime somewhere we have done that is attracting that person.

They will always be one step ahead if they have the power,it might be someone or God that is trying to get you back to Paper and pen because Computers were a spy thing in the beginning and the US army opened up the internet to spy on the world!

Even the Teq republic is being watched to see if any enemies are plotting their defence.

Disclaimer I am not making any moral Judgements about you PaperNPen or that stalker we all have our privacy and only God knows and sees what is in our hearts.

I am not going to advise your on computer security because you should have gone to an Apple shop and or called and talked to them not show your problem online because the person knows what you are doing ,too late anyway.

We should have all stuck to our memories and not say anything but what is obvious and true.

All the best to you and your family pray to God for peace of mind do not listen to me are anyone else take all these comments with a pinch of salt follow your common sense and your heart.

The most threatening is what we all think and they are trying to know it and contain it.

This big Brother my Friends.