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Your Privacy and Anti-Spyware/Adwar...
Your Privacy and Anti-Spyware/Adware/Malware

SpyWare/Ad-Ware/Malware type programs have been on the uprise. SpyWare is defined as: any software that covertly gathers information about a user while he/she navigates the Internet and transmits the information to an individual or company that uses it for marketing or other purposes. Adware is defined as: a software application in which advertisements are displayed while the program is running, esp. in pop-up windows or banners, and which often is installed without the userís knowledge or consent; also called advertising-supported software, or a form of spyware that collects information about the computer user s online behavior in order to display targeted advertisements in the Web browser. Malware is defined as: software, such as viruses, intended to damage or disable a computer system; short for malicious software. These progams try to grab personal information such as your email address, your browsing habits, your cookies, etc, in an attempt to spam you with emails, install 3rd party software that you do not want on your computer, or provide you with those nice popups advertising their product based on browsing habits. These annoying programs can be categorized as viruses/malware. Congress is supposed to pass a law soon to help stop the inflow of these types of programs because they have become such a problem. These programs can slow down your computer to a crawl, cause errors with your browser (usually IE), and unless you know how to remove them, your computer is sometimes rendered unusable. What then can you do? You canít get online, you canít even use your computer. Should you take it somewhere and pay hundreds of dollars to get it cleaned? They should be able to clean your system, and your registry keys, but what they donít tell you is how to keep it clean, and what utilities are available to remove these types of threats from your system and prevent them in the future. There are various programs on the market, the following programs are some of the more popular. In conjunction with each other do a very good job of cleaning your computer, and helping with preventative maintenance of these types of threats.
Ad-Aware SE

Ad-Aware is free. http://www.LavaSoft.us This program allows you to update and scan your system for SpyWare/Ad-Ware threats and remove them. Background process and auto-update is available with the paid version. There are addons for the program available from the website that give you added flexibility and features. Update it manually from time to time and it works well.

SpyBot S&D (Search and Destroy) 1.3

SpyBot S&D is free. http://www.safer-networking.org/en/download/ This program allows you to update and scan your system for SpyWare/Ad-Ware threats and remove them. A background process can help monitor everything installed, and another, the Internet Explorer browser for changes not authorized by the user. This program helps clean and helps prevent spyware/ad-ware from infecting your system. There are advanced options with additional tools for flexibility and function, as well as advanced options to modify how the program works.

Microsoft Anti-Spyware (Beta)

Microsoft antispyware is free. http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/default.mspx This program is fairly new, released in late 2004, it is Microsoftís answer to the spyware/ad-ware/malware problem. I have found that Scanning with Ad-Aware, then SpyBot, then MS Antispyware almost always rids the PC of the bad files and programs. This program auto-updates, auto-scans, and has a very intuitive interface. It gives you options when threats are identified such as ignore, always ignore, remove, and quarantine. Recently Bill Gates was quoted as saying this program will remain free in the future. We will see!

Symantec Anti-Spyware (Beta)

Not yet released, https://www-secure.symantec.com/public_beta/ but its part of Norton Internet Security 2005, AntSpyware Edition.

SpywareBlaster 3.3

SpywareBlaster is free. http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html This program allows you to update it manually, and proactively protect your system. ďPrevent the installation of ActiveX-based spyware, adware, browser hijackers, dialers, and other potentially unwanted software. Block spyware/tracking cookies in Internet Explorer and Mozilla/Firefox. Restrict the actions of potentially unwanted sites in Internet Explorer.Ē Auto-update is available in the paid version. Update it manually from time to time and it works well.
Last Updated: 5/13/2005
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