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Spyware and Adware

Irrespective of what I do, or what tools I use, or what precautions I take, I constantly find myself fighting atleast 2 to 3 spy and adware applications that have managed to nest themselves in. I find these to be more annoying than advertisements. I could even say more annoying than Spam. Not just the fact that they’re either using my machine to send out spam but also trojans that just log keystrokes and send them around. Passwords, credit card numbers… I use both Ad-aware and Spybot and they help only 50% of the time.

Microsoft has dedicated a page to Spyware. I see a link there with news that Senators are looking at defining and then banning spyware. I hope this happens soon. I don’t see too much help but it’s one step in the right direction. Let’s just hope it’s not called CAN-SPY!

  • Get Zone Alarm. There’s no better complement to your computing experience!

  • Keep your anti-virus definitions up-to-date. I know many people who ignore this. There is absolutely no point of an anti-virus solution if you’re not going to keep it up-to-date.
    If you don’t have an anti-virus solution yet, I recommend avast! which is free and pretty good at what it does

  • Visit the Windows Update site as often as you can and download all critical patches regularly.
    Remember that simply visiting a malicious site is enough for a spy/trojan to nest itself in! These patches avoid such things from happening

  • Download Ad-aware and Spybot. Update their definitions and run them regularly.

  • Stop using Internet Explorer! That’s an open invitation to trouble of sorts! I highly recommend Mozilla Firefox.

  • Outlook and Outlook Express without the appropriate plugins are dangerous. Most infections are caused thanks to these horribly written email clients. I recommend that you switch to Mozilla Thunderbird or Eudora for your email needs.

Then, ofcourse, there are other silly things you need to remember like not opening attachments from recipients you don’t know. Don’t receive/open attachments from people you don’t know through Instant Messengers, mIRC, etc. Don’t open files you download from P2P networks without scanning them.

Finally, if you only use the computer to surf, check emails and silly things like that I suggest that you get rid of Windows altogether and explore the many other options available.

April 25th, 2004 at 1:07 am

U are definitely one generous guy ….. will explain later if I need to :)

April 25th, 2004 at 7:35 pm

Who? Me? Generous? Are you sure you’re on the right journal? :D

April 29th, 2004 at 2:53 am

Definitely on the right one – u’re one person who never stints on helping out with information …. and you always seem to have something up your sleeve ! :)

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