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Table Of Contents

Best Anti-Spyware Tools …………………………………………. pg 4
Introduction…………………………………………………………………… 6
Chapter 1: Spyware Can Destroy……………………………..…. 8
Chapter 2: How Does Spyware Spread? ……………………14 Chapter 3: How To Remove Spyware………………………..21
Chapter 4: Anti Spyware Programs…………………………….26 Chapter 5: The Anti Anti-Spyware Programs……………..42
Chapter 6: Research And Learn More…………………………48 Chapter 7: Choosing The Best Anti Spyware Tool………52 Chapter 8: Computer Security And Spyware……………..61
Chapter 9: The Programs To Avoid…………………………….65 Chapter 10: Is It Legal? ……………………………………………..57 Chapter 11: Checklist Of Protection …………………………..68
Conclusion…………………..……………………………………………….72

Best Anti Spyware Tools

These are some of the best anti spyware tools we've found. If you need to clean up your PC, try one or more of these now. Check out the free trials that are offered to see whether or not your computer is affected by spyware.

Adware Alert
This works with Windows Vista as well as earlier versions of Windows such as XP. There's a free scan option so you can see whether you've been affected by adware or spyware.

Anti spyware with built in anti-spam
Industry leading anti-spyware software from Pareto Logic, this also spots and quarantines spam messages that would otherwise clog up your email inbox.

Spyzooka
Destroys spyware, stops unwanted pop-ups, prevents programs from hijacking your home page, gets rid of those pesky random error messages, speeds up your computer.

Internet Security Suite
Complete security suite. Detects and removes spyware, adware & other parasites from your system. Also cleans out the Windows Registry to speed up your computer. Works with Windows ME, 2000, XP and Vista.

Introduction

What is spyware? What is adware? You’ve probably heard of them because everyone that gets online is either bombarded with information about the products that can help to protect against these two things or get so much spam that they’ve had to remove it from their system.

Spyware and adware are two separate things but can be lumped together for one reason. That is that they are merciless in what they can do to your computer and to you.

• They risk your sanity with pop up ads.
• They risk your computer too, as too many pieces of adware or spyware on your computer and it will no longer work well.
• And, they will risk your personal identity, too.

Yet, there is much you can do for protection from these problems. The solution is twofold. You must get rid of any type of spyware or adware that is lurking in your computer right now. Then, you need to protect yourself from it entering into your system again.
The information and solutions you need, are within this e-book.

Chapter 1: Spyware Can Destroy

Spyware and adware are two different animals. Each has the ability to make your life a mess. If you rely on the internet for anything or you rely on your computer for anything, it is a must that you fully understand what these things are and how they work.

The first key to protecting yourself from these things is to fully understand what they are. That will allow you to know how to not make common mistakes that cause spyware to get into your computer.

What Is Spyware?

According to Microsoft, spyware is a term that describes any type of software that is used for such things as collecting personal information, changing the configuration of your computer, advertising and anything else that can be done. The catch is that spyware is downloaded without your permission. Usually, you won’t know it’s even there when it enters your system.

What Is Adware?

The difference between spyware and adware is just a small one. With spyware, the potential could be leaked personal information to another source. In other words, someone is spying on you. With adware, though, the software is geared towards displaying advertisements.

Is It All Bad?

Unfortunately, many people have been lead to believe that all types of this software are bad and should be avoided. But, that’s not always the case. The fact is you may want to have certain types of this software to use.

Remember, to make it spyware it has to be downloaded to your computer without your consent.

Why would you want to have spyware that tracks your personal information? Why would you want those advertisements? You may actually sign up for a service online and when you do you may also agree to receive targeted ads.
Companies like this find it helpful to track where you go online and what you do in order to provide you with ads that are targeted to your interests. Instead of seeing ads that don’t have anything to do with you, you’ll see ads that are based on the places you’ve visited online.

In most cases, though, spyware can be something that annoys and even has the potential to do much harm to you and your computer.

Changing Configurations

One problem that often happens with spyware and adware is that they can change your computer’s settings, making it quite annoying for you to even log on. Here, they may change the web browser’s home page. Or, when you search, this page can be changed. Some products even will make other changes to the actual configuration of your computer.

The problem with these things is that they are usually very difficult to change back. You may not have the ability to do this because it can be quite difficult.

Slowing Your Computer Down

Another problem with spyware and adware is that it can drastically slow your computer down. First and foremost, it can hurt you by being annoying. Pop up ads may happen. But, slowly your computer will begin to move slower. If you don’t notice it at first, the more spyware that gets into the system, the harder it will be for you to do the things you want to do.

This happens because your computer is being asked to do more and more. Not only does it need to perform the tasks that you want it to do, but it also needs to perform the tasks that the spyware is running. Running online tracking, popping up ads, monitoring your usage; all of these things can be quite demanding on your system. So, it slows down.

In some cases, so much can be on a computer that it really can stop moving. You may have it crash on you or just go down because it can’t perform all of the operations that is being requested of it.

Relaying Information

Some types of spyware are much worse. Although rarer, these are the worst types. Just as adware can track what you are doing online to help target the right ads to you, spyware can do the same.
In some cases, though, it can take pictures of the websites you visit and the information that you input. It may take these images and report them back to the source of the spyware.

When it does that, your personal information, such as your credit card information, your addresses, and even other sensitive information you enter online can be relayed right back to the source.

This is when and why you hear about spyware and adware causing identity theft issues. While these types of situations don’t happen as often, they are still potentially there and should be protected from.

The Plan Of Action

Spyware and adware is not something that you can ignore. For most, it is something that needs to on your mind when you are online. Luckily, it doesn’t have to be something that you worry about every single day. In fact, there are many ways you can safely protect yourself against these types of problems.

1. Get your computer clean. We’ll discuss how to do this in the coming chapters. Remove all of the adware and spyware on it right now.

2. Keep it clean. Keeping it clean means constant monitoring of what is happening online. It also means educating yourself in how spyware gets into your computer and protecting yourself from invasion.

Consider spyware and adware as serious as a virus. Protect yourself and your computer from it.

Chapter 2: How Does Spyware Spread?

One of the most important things for you to understand is just how spyware spreads. How does it get from its source to your computer?

By understanding this fact, you’ll know how to better protect yourself from future invasion.

 

It’s Not A Virus

One thing to know is that spyware and adware are not viruses and don’t spread in the same way as a virus would. With a virus, the infected computer system is used to spread the virus from one system to the next. It is actively looking for the next victim. Spyware gets into your system by deception. In most cases, you download it to your computer.

You’ve Installed It

Most commonly, spyware enters the computer when the computer user installs it. Of course, you wouldn’t know that you are doing that. What happens is quite a bit more worrisome.

You visit a website and find a piece of software that you would like to have. You download it. Little did you know that the software that you just downloaded had spyware piggybacked onto it and now you’ve got both the desirable software and the spyware lurking on your computer. You may not even know it’s there for months!

Or, you may have the spyware trick you into downloading it. In this case, you may be asked to perform an operation that is “required” to complete the download. When you do, you are actually downloading the spyware or adware onto your computer.

Some of the newest versions of this software are even more devastating because they promise to protect your computer. You may download a program and it offers security software with its download. You download it thinking it’s stopping spyware when in fact it is doing the opposite. It’s actually the spyware itself.

In some cases, the spyware gets onto your computer by pretending to offer you a useful service or tool. For example, a common type of spyware “giveaway” is a web accelerator, promising to speed up your interactions online, making surfing the net faster. It’s not going to do this for you at all.

Some of these types of programs have even been targeted at children. They may offer a “friend” that gets to monitor what your child does online, keeping them safe and giving them the ability to do things online without your watchful eye.

The problem is he may also be a spyware tool that will target ads directly at your child during those sessions with him.

Shareware

Another way that spyware gets into the computer is through shareware. It often comes bundled with this type of product. One type of this program would be file trading utilities. When you purchase and install the program you want, you also download the spyware.

Some companies that have the need and potential benefits from spyware and adware even have worked with the shareware providers in paying them to incorporate the spyware into the software that you are likely to download and use.
More commonly, shareware gets the spyware bundled into it by the spyware companies. In these cases, the shareware providers don’t know that it is there.

You’ve Changed Security Features

Unfortunately, there are other ways that spyware and adware can get into your computer. For example, it may be in the form of altering your security features. It may even prompt you to do this without realizing what you are doing.

Internet Explorer’s web browser offers built in notifications to the user of when something is trying to download onto your computer or, when something is making a change to your system. But, these can be manipulated with the simple click of a link on a website.

Consider the annoying pop up ad. A pop up ad is one that literally pops up when you are using your computer. Usually they happen when you visit websites. In most cases, just by closing the ad, you are done. But, have you ever fallen for those ads that look very much like Windows security boxes? These can actually be triggers for spyware to be downloaded. They look an awful lot like a standard dialog box providing you with information. You click on them, they change your security features and within a few minutes, you’ve got spyware to deal with. That’s anything but something you want to have happen.

One such dialog box offers to “optimize your internet access.” Even if you hit the “No” button, you’ve still clicked on the ad, which is enough to push it to download.

Security holes in your system can be another way that spyware gets in. Here, they could be in your webs browser or the holes could be lurking in a program you are using. If you are browsing the web and happen to a location where spyware software like this is lurking, it can actually attack these holes in your system and force the computer to download the software. This is often called a drive by download.

This can happen with both Internet Explorer and with Microsoft Java runtime where security risks lie. Those that have created this type of spyware software have an extensive knowledge of anti virus software and firewall software.

Through A Virus?

While spyware is much different than a virus, spyware can be the actual virus’s intention. For example, if a virus like this gets onto your computer it may install tons of spyware at one time to your computer.

This was the case with one type of virus known as W32.spybot.worm. It used pornographic information to infect the user’s system and challenged all types of ads because of it.

These are the most common methods in which spyware can get into your computer. Sometimes, you, the computer user are the one to make the decision to download it by downloading another program. Other times, it pushes its way into your computer.

Yet, even as dangerous as these things can be, the fact is that you can keep using the internet and using the downloads you find there.

You just have to learn how to spot potential problems and how to avoid unwanted extra programs. In effect, you need to also monitor your computer’s needs even if you haven’t downloaded a thing.
In the coming chapters, we’ll discuss the actual methods of removal. Then, we’ll come back to learning to protect yourself against downloads that may contain spyware or adware in them.

Chapter 3: How To Remove Spyware

There are several ways to remove spyware from your computer. If you have knowledge of viruses, then you can easily understand most of these methods and how they are potentially beneficial to you.

Spyware can be detected in many of the same ways as a virus can. A scan of your computer can relieve many types of spyware and adware and help you to safely remove them from your computer.

The worst case scenario for the computer user that has a large amount of spyware and adware on their computer is to have to have their computer’s system reinstalled. In this case, it will take professional help, in many cases, to back up the data on the computer and then to fully reinstall the operating system for the unit.

But, that’s not the normal case and it’s not the first step for you to take, either. There are several other things that you should do first. There is much help out there but it takes a bit more help and knowledge to get you to the point of knowing what program is a potential benefit and which is likely not to be.

It’s Gotten Bad

It’s important to realize that spyware is no longer something that happens to the other guy. You have to consider this a strong risk as you would a virus. You don’t have to make a mistake in downloading it to your computer to be a victim to it. It can just happen.

In that, there are countless products on the market that claim to be able to provide you with the very best resource for removing spyware and adware from your computer. Some are very much capable while others can even be spyware programs lurking themselves.

It will cost you. If you have no spyware protection on your computer right now, you’ll need to invest in it. That could be a decent amount of money to start with. But, if you let it go and have to have your computer’s operating system fully reinstalled, that will cost you even more.

Therefore, it makes sense to make decisions now to improve your system.

 

Three Steps To Removing Spyware

There are three main steps that you will have to fully understand to keep spyware and adware at bay. Without one of these components, you are at a potential risk for allowing it into your computer.

Step 1: Anti Spyware Programs

These programs provide you with the ability to clean up your system. They work much like a virus program in that they will remove anything hidden on your computer that could potentially be risky for you.

They also provide protection such as a firewall that will help to prevent further infestations of spyware on your computer after it has been successfully removed.

Step 2: Beware Of What’s Out There

You need to know which programs have the most potential for hurting you. There are many programs that are commonly used and have spyware or adware lurking in them. We’ll show you which ones are potential risky investments.

Step 3: Be Secure

There are specific security measures that you must put in place to provide protection against future invasions of spyware. These methods will offer you a strong protection against making mistakes or even allowing holes in your security system to put you at risk.

By explaining to you what options you have, you’ll have the ability to make the right decision about the right protection for spyware and adware for you.

There is no doubt that you should be careful when you aer online to avoid potentially problematic spyware or adware situations. Nevertheless, it will be very difficult to protect yourself 100% of the time. Yet, with a few simple measures, you can find be vigilant in defying the odds against spyware.

Finally, it is important to make mention of the fact that any type of education that you receive on spyware and adware should be communicated to the whole family, or at least anyone that uses your computer. Children can often be targets of spyware and adware. Remember that all it takes is a click of the mouse to download it.

Educating your children on this potential threat will help you to find true benefit in the effectiveness of the program. Most children that can use the computer on their own can understand what potential security risks are in place. Give them a checklist to protecting themselves and your computer investment.

Chapter 4: Anti Spyware Programs

Anti spyware programs are going to be the most effective and beneficial tool for you to use in your fight against all things spyware. In most cases, it will remove most of the spyware and adware from your computer.

Some types of spyware can pose a larger problem and often be difficult to remove. Nevertheless, there are some excellent tools available to help most computer users to combat the threat of spyware.

Programs Available

There are many programs on the market that can be helpful in removing spyware. While we are not advocating for any one program here, there are several that must be mentioned in order to learn what these are, what they can do and just where they came from.

One such program is that of OptOut. This program was designed by Steve Gibson and really became one of the founding tools in the fight against spyware. It was one of the first tools to do this and therefore was the foundation for other programs that were to come along.

Some of the most popular tools include Ad-Aware which was designed by Lavasoft. Another program is that of Spybot-Search and Destroy which was created by Patrick Kolla.

These programs have helped many to fight. In fact, they not only removed spyware but they worked at helping to stop the download of them, too.

You can also look at Microsoft for some help. Just months ago, they began working on a program to help with this type of protection. The program was for Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Windows 2003, and was a free downloadable program that expired in July in its beta version. It was called Windows AntiSpyware beta.

The second version of this program is called Windows Defender and is a second beta test. This one is available through the end of 2006. While this program is available, it may be worth your time to use to protect your computer. It is expected that a full version will be available in 2007 after the beta test has been completed.
Still, there are many more anti spyware programs available to fill your needs. Which one is the right choice for you? There’s still much to take into consideration.

How About A Free One?

One thing you may be tempted by is a free anti spyware program. Free programs seem quite alluring after all, no one really wants to have to pay for protection if it is available without charge.

When considering free anti spyware products, take the time to truly unearth who they are, what they offer and what they put onto your computer. There are some excellent free programs to consider.

Yet, there are many more that are quite likely to contain spyware or adware themselves and be a simply ploy to get you to download them. Therefore, unless you’ve done your research on the product, something we’ll talk more about in a few minutes, don’t download anything.

Anti Spyware And Virus Protection

One of the many things you’ll find today in spyware protection are those programs that are now coupling anti virus products with anti spyware products. Each of them can be beneficial.

Some of the companies that have begun putting these together include McAfee, Symantec and Sophos. These leading anti virus software protectors are now providing software that will handle spyware at the same time as virus protection.

But, did you know that not all of these programs were really interested in doing this? While from a customer standpoint you can easily see how spyware is just as dangerous as viruses, from the business point, there was concern.

What if an anti spyware program labeled a company’s product as spyware? Could they be sued for doing so? These are real concerns to this day for these software developers as you can understand.

Most of them have simply labeled programs that they consider to be possible spyware programs with a term that is less offensive such as Symantec’s use of “extended threats” during a scan of your computer.

Should you purchase the combination of these two very important tools for your computer? It is a personal decision which program you do use and/or purchase. But the fact is that you must have something working for you to provide you with ultimate protection.

It’s understandable for most to be confused by which program is the right one to work with. Some people seem to think more than one program is necessary. Yet, an up to date program is the perfect choice.

How They’ll Aid You

No matter if you’ve actually gotten to the point of selecting a product yet or not, you do need to realize how they will work for you. There are two concepts to understand in anti spyware programs.

First of all, just as a virus program would run a “scan” on your computer, a spyware program will do about the same. It will run through the files on your computer, in most cases both obvious files and hidden files. When it spots something that has the potential of being spyware, it collects its location and details. After the scan is complete, it will provide you with details on what was found, where it was located and what it is.

In some cases, you’ll be able to remove the program fully from your computer. In other cases, it is necessary for you to just block the files from working as they’ve placed themselves in such a place or manner that they can’t be easily removed.

Most programs will run checks on these areas if not more while running a scan:

• Your Window’s registry
• Your operating system files
• Files that you’ve installed through programs

The second way in which anti spyware programs work is by providing protection to you. Go back to your virus program. It protects you by providing you with a real time protection.
If a virus was to try and enter your computer while you are using it and you have a running anti virus program, it captures the virus and stops it from entering.

Anti spyware works in just about the same manner as anti virus does. If a program attempts to download something to your computer and it doesn’t have the necessary allowance for doing so, your running, real time anti spyware program stops it and asks you if you wanted that program to be downloaded. If you don’t you tell the program to stop it. If you do, then you allow it.

During this process it will update you, providing you with the necessary information to make a decision about the program trying to get in. It may give a full description of the program and give you advice as to what to do with it.

It works quite simply by taking the time to scan through the incoming network data and disk files. Before these are able to be fully downloaded, they get a full scan at the download time, before it hits your computer.

How does it know if a program is spyware? In most cases, it will stop anything that looks suspicious. In addition to this, most have a working list of “known to represent spyware” programs. It doesn’t remove these from your system, but stops the download of something suspicious.

At that point, you make the decision to continue with the program download or stop it.

One thing to consider in an anti spyware program is a program that allows the interception of programs that are trying to install start up items. They may also offer protection from those programs that are trying to modify your browser settings in some way. Using this is helpful as many spyware and adware programs take advantage of browser weaknesses.

This software is often marketed as security software. Don’t assume that your anti spyware program does this, though, as it is quite possible that it will not.

The combination of these two things allows your computer system to stay protected: on going, real time protection and detection and removal programs.

What’s On The Market

A common misconception today is that any anti spyware and anti adware program on the market provides the same types of protection and constant coverage. This is not the case, unfortunately.

Some programs are still just providing detection and removal applications to the user. Javacool Software produced the first product that would offer coverage in real time protection.

Their product is called SpywareBlaster. In fact, they were the first to successfully provide help for the spyware program known as ActiveX based spyware, a large threat. Today, this program offers comprehensive coverage in the realm of protection and prevention.

Yet, it can be much more beneficial to find a program that will offer you

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