& Ad-aware - Your Defense Against Spyware Parasites
Spyware is a
threat that anti-virus applications do not cover. Spyware usually
finds its way onto computers when users visit certain Web pages
(that's when the spyware secretly installs itself), or by using
shared networks to download music, videos etc. Some spyware programs
attach themselves to your browser and some are completely invisible.
Spyware symptoms include:
* Your computer
has suddenly slowed down (not just in downloading but general performance).
* Pop-up ads appear when you're both offline & online.
* The dial-up connection box keeps appearing, regardless if you
are or aren't connected to the net.
* The dial-up connection box has a different a telephone number.
* Your mailbox is filled with targeted spam; some of them even call
you by name.
* An installation window pops up asking you to install a program
you aren't aware of.
* Your browser/desktop has new toolbars or icons that you don't
remember installing or your homepage constantly changes back to
some site you don't intend to visit.
* Your browser contantly hangs or crashes.
To read more
about Spyware, go to http://www.mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm
So what can you do about it? First we recommend installing Spyware
Blaster - a free program which will prevent spyware from being installed
onto your computer in the first place.
Spyware Blaster (2.4Mb file) from http://www.download.com/SpywareBlaster/3000-8022_4-10486084.html?tag=lst-0-1
For a tutorial on how to use Spyware Blaster, go to http://www.dcwis.com/Help/config/SpyWare/
There are 2
other programs we also recommend - Spybot and Ad-aware. These scan
your computer & remove spyware that has already been installed
on your computer. Between the two, they should find most known spyware
parasites on your computer and allow you to remove these safely
without damaging other programs or files on your computer.
Spybot (4.2Mb file) from http://www.download.com/Spybot-Search-Destroy/3000-8022_4-10401314.html?tag=lst-0-1
For instructions on how to install and use SpyBot, please go to:
Ad-aware SE (2.5Mb file) from http://www.download.com/Ad-Aware-SE-Personal-Edition/3000-8022_4-10639408.html?tag=lst-0-1
For instructions on how to install and use Ad-aware SE, please go
Once your computer
is free of spyware, you need to keep it this way. Run Spybot and
Ad-aware on a regular basis; once a week will be fine. Since the
update process is manual, you should select the "check for
updates" option in the program before you scan your computer.
Spyware Blaster updates itself automatically but it's a good idea
to check the Status in the program to make sure the latest updates
have been downloaded.
NOTE: THESE PROGRAMS ARE NOT ANTI-VIRUS
PROGRAMS. THEY DO NOT PROTECT YOU AGAINST VIRUSES, ONLY SPYWARE.
SURE YOU ALSO HAVE A GOOD ANTIVIRUS PROGRAM INSTALLED ON YOUR COMPUTER.