Watching the Watchers: Detection and Removal of Spyware
If spyware were a person and he set himself up in yourhouse, you are likely going to do one of two things. You'llkick him out yourself or you'll call someone (such as thepolice) to do it for you.
Employing tools that detect and remove spyware from yourPC, whether it's at home or at the office, should be on thelist of top things to do for your complete protection, andthe protection of your children.
Spyware is a generic term for insidious programs designedto track, store and report back on your actions on thecomputer, whether you're logged onto the Internet or not.The most benign forms began as adware, software that triedto make sure the end user didn't receive any ads theywouldn't be interested in. The theory is great, but thepractice has been warped by abuse.
There are a number of tools available for the detecting andremoving of Spyware. Ad-Aware is a very reputable piece ofsoftware that detects, isolates and removes spyware fromyour PC. Available for free download, Ad-Aware was one ofthe first anti-spyware programs to be available.
Ad-Aware's drawback, however, is that it must be run todetect already installed spyware and it does not preventspyware from being downloaded as you surf the Internet.
Ad-Aware offers a paid version labeled Ad-Watch thatincludes a real time prevention tool. Spysweeper, Spybot,A-Squared, Microsoft Anti-Spyware and many, many others alloffer varying levels of protection from spyware.Ultimately, preventing the installation of such programs inthe first place will serve you better.
Yes, it may cost a small investment or donation forlicensing the product. However, remember that spyware cantie up your CPU, RAM and Internet connection to the pointthat you can no longer perform day-to-day functions on yourmachine or connection with any type of speed or normalcy.
Free programs work well for detecting and removing spyware,but it's advisable to check out the website offering theanti-spyware for free. Some programs are just more spywarein disguise. Choose reputable software rather than just anyad that pops up in your email box.
Making sure you have anti-virus software, working firewalland up to date patches for all of your software willimprove the performance across the board.
Even if you install and utilize very reputable anti-spywaresoftware, the best advice to preventing spywareinstallation on your machine is avoiding the downloading ofunknown products or attachments from your e-mail.
Don't download programs from people you do not know, norshould you enter every contest and game that may be offeredthrough pop-up banners or e-mail. It's not enough to beable to detect and/or remove spyware. You have to preventit. And, this starts with some simple action that anycomputer novice can perform.
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