Fight Spyware

Written by Charles Peacock
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If you want to fight spyware, it will take a bit of vigilance. Spyware programs are not only designed to spy on you--they're designed to last. They can be difficult to detect, and sometimes it requires powerful software just to get them off of your computer. The good news is that there are a lot of tools out there to help you fight spyware.

How to Fight Spyware

The number one step in fighting spyware is to be very, very careful about what you download and what attachments you open. Even the most innocuous-sounding game or email attachment can contain powerful spyware programs that will gather your personal information and send it to a hacker on the other side of the planet. If you don't have to download it, don't. If you do, always run every program or attachment through a virus checker before you open it.

If you've already fallen victim to spyware (or suspect you might have some on your computer), simply get yourself a good anti-spyware program. These programs (available in stores and online) allow you to fight spyware even when it is deeply infected in your computer. In many cases you won't ever be able to get rid of the spyware without using one of these programs or taking the drastic step of reformatting your hard drive.

Another important way to fight spyware is to avoid clicking on pop-up ads. Many of these ads contain little bits of code that, when enacted, can actually infect your computer with spyware, adware, or even viruses. Don't be tempted by offers for free vacations or winning lottery tickets---if it sounds too good to be true, it always is.

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