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Spyware & Adware!
Spyware is Internet jargon for any data
collection program that secretly gathers information about you and relays
it to advertisers and other interested parties. Adware usually displays
banners or unwanted pop-up windows, but often includes spyware as well.
You can unknowingly install spyware when you install new software, most
commonly freeware or shareware (e.g., Limewire, BearShare, KaZaA, iMesh).
Many of these programs are intended to track your Internet browsing
habits, such as frequented sites and favorite downloads, then provide
advertising companies with marketing data.
Some spyware programs, such as CommonName, MarketScore, and Gator, can
adversely affect your computer's performance, and may prevent you from
accessing secure services.
Unfortunately, you cannot fully remove most spyware and adware programs by
using the uninstall option in the Windows Add or Remove Programs control
panel. To completely remove spyware from your computer, we recommend using
Ad-Aware or Spybot - Search & Destroy.
Ad-Aware SE: Great for getting
rid of spyware and malware - the items that can cause annoying
SpyBot: Similar to Ad-Aware,
however more aggressive. Clean up spyware and hijack attempts.
Microsoft Anti-Spyware: Active
prevention that does a really good job.
The best way to protect your computer against spyware and adware is to
install a firewall and avoid installing any file-sharing programs known to
contain adware and spyware, such as:
KaZaA and KaZaA Lite
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