Fight Spy and Adware
In the last twelve months, a new menace has invaded our computers via the Internet. Different than a virus, but equally as irritating, we need to be watching out for and fighting against spy and adware.
Spy and adware are little programs that install themselves on our computers and use up a great deal of our memory and processing power. Sometimes they are installed by us using some flaky software downloads (like Kazaa, Gator, etc). Sometimes they get installed by just visiting some less than upstanding web sites. Either way, we don’t want them on our systems. They produce gobs of pop-up ads, slow our computers down to a crawl and in some cases overtake our ability to even browse the web.
You have probably heard us talk about two different spyware removers; AdAware and SpyBot Search and Destroy. Both are free and available in the Links and Resources section of our web site. Once installed, run these tools about once per month or when you feel that pop-ups have gotten out of control or your system seems slow again.
These programs search through the computer and find the little crevices and cracks where they hide. After the scan is through, the program will provide a report of what has been found and give you the choice to delete or quarantine its findings. I have had no problem in deleting anything that it has found.
Lastly, like anti-virus software, these programs need to be updated from time-to-time so that they can search for and delete the newest threats.
As mentioned above, we are often our own worst enemy when it comes to spy or adware. Remember and follow these simple rules to reduce the occurrence of a polluted system:
Don’t download and install free programs that originate at a web site littered with pop-ups
Don’t buy or download software from a spam email
Avoid visiting "fringe" sites (sex sites, MLM or get-rich sites, etc)
Keep track of what children using your computer are downloading and which sites they are visiting as well.