Jim Doty - Photo Blog

Photography: Photos, News, and Tips
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Spyware programs, also known as "scumware", are the parasites of the computer world. Spyware is undetected by most virus protection software. Spyware can end up on your computer simply by clicking on a link, opening an email, or you can get it from one of those annoying popup ads while you are browsing. A number of downloadable programs such as Comet Cursor come complete with spyware.

What does spyware do? It keeps track of the places you go on the internet and the online purchases you make. Then it sends this information out to advertisers and retailers who pay the spyware company for the information. What happens next? Lots of ads in your email box. It does all of this without you even knowing it is going on. Do you think this is an invasion of your privacy? I do!

So how do you get rid of these low life parasites? Software. The best, free software for a long time was Ad-Aware from Lavasoft. I have had it on my computer for some time now and I run it periodically to locate and exterminate these parasites.

There is now some new spyware detection software, Spybot. A review at Cnet says Spybot is even bettert than Ad-Aware, and it is also free, although the author would like you to send a small donation if you so choose. I have tried it and I like it.

If you don't have a program to find and kill the parasites on your computer, I recommend you get Spybot. Use it regularly.

There are more computer links at my web site, including some more that will keep your computer safe and happy.


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