Spyware is some awful stuff, it gets on your PC, makes changes you don't want, and gives you "extras" you don't need. It comes from all different
sources, including free software downloads, activeX modules and website cookies. Most of the time it’s just an annoyance, like pop ups here and
there, or added links on words. Sometimes though, you get browser hijacks, like when you try to go to www.google.com it'll take you to some generic
search engine. Maybe you’ve seen a page before, where random words became hyperlinks to advertisement pages. Malware is the worst, it’s
considered a type of Spyware, one that takes control of your machine. Everything runs slower, pop-ups everywhere, and you can't even browse the web
without having to hit the x button on windows every second. If you think viruses are nasty, take a peek into the world of Spyware. It's as if all
the "talent" for writing nasty HD crashes, signed up for Spyware.
Sounds a little bit crazy, but luckily there are some darn good software programs out there fighting it. Be careful when looking for a good
anti-spyware program, some sites will advertise a program that might actually be a dummy. They pretend to find stuff but are really false positives
or are adding the files while they scan; sometimes even opening ports on your computer for remote access. For a list of the fakes and the real, check
for the most complete list of Fake anti-spyware programs out there.
Protecting your computer can be tough, but I want to list some programs that are great for keeping your system clean.
JavaCoolSoftware makes "Spyware Blaster" which can be downloaded at
SpywareBlaster is a free ActiveX protection Utility (one of the most common avenues of spyware infiltration). If you choose to download this program
(I highly recommend doing so) make sure you update when you can. A big thing people forget about is that these programs have to be kept up to date;
otherwise you’re working with older versions that might not be able to detect new infections.
Spybot Search and Destroy, found at
is a great program that not only has blocking capabilities but comes with an excellent scanner. When you download and install this FREE program,
update it, (OF COURSE!). First thing to do after updating it is to "Immunize" This will act as a barrier in your browser to keep nasties out.
Spybot also comes with an add-on called "TeaTimer" that when activated pops up and asks you when there is a pending change to system files. Like
when something wants to change your homepage, or run a file on your computer.
The last thing about Spybot is that it has one of the best Spyware scanners ever, after UPDATING, run the scanner to find pre-existing spyware
Ad-Aware is made by www.lavasoft.de and is not free for the full version. At download.com you may download the scanner alone, called "Ad-Aware SE
Personal Edition" at
Ad-Aware (after UPDATING) is another excellent scanner for baddies. Of course, if you can splurge a few bucks I recommend buying either the Plus or
Pro edition that comes with "Ad-Watch" that is an amazing guard against spyware. It keeps a log of things it's kept out, like registry changes,
cookies, and modules.
Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta, who would have thought that a Microsoft product could work this well? The beta is free at
Usually it can receive its own updates just check it every now and again to make
sure it is installing them properly. The beta comes with a guard, and a scanner.
WebRoot's SpySweeper has been rated the best before by PCworld and such, but there is never ONE scanner that picks up everything, that is why it is a
good idea to keep a few loaded on your computer to cover all your bases. The Download is free, at
(On the right, click "Download Trial").
Who can forget the Google toolbar? I love that thing, it’s a tiny download, and it's an excellent pop-up blocker (It doesn’t really keep spyware
out as much as keeps annoying pop-ups at bay).
This isn't a full list or anything like that, I just want to put out there some worthwhile downloads to help you out. For more advanced situations,
desperate times do call for desperate measures. I'm not going to tell anyone who isn't an advanced computer user about things that may damage their
computer unless they know what they are doing. If you really need help, I'm around on this board or by U2U and I can help with some more advanced
problems. If I can't help you I know plenty of people who can, and I can lead you onto them. That's all for now, if you have any questions, feel
free to post, or U2U me.
Thanks for reading!