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How To Get Rid Of Spyware

Jun 11, 2008
What is Spyware?

Spyware is a scourge on the internet, spyware is malicious software designed to be installed on a person's personal computer often without their knowledge; where it runs silently, collecting information about your behavior and then using your computer to transmit this valuable behavioral data back to the originating company. Many forms of spyware also launch pop-ups, modify search engine results pages and use other forms of 'trickery' to get advertising in front of the computer's users.

How is Spyware Spread?

Spyware does not usually self-replicate. That means that in order for your computer to become infected by most spyware applications, you have to perform some action such as installing a plug-in to view a web site or installing some other software for your computer.

Most of the spyware that infests people's computers comes silently bundled with another piece of desirable software such as a toolbar, weather and time program, or one of many other free downloads. Some companies that develop free software such as Weatherbug (A weather forecasting tool) and Kazaa (a file-sharing tool) are paid by advertisers to hide spyware in with their 'free' software, installing the unwanted advertising software on millions of computers without the consent of the end-user.

Following is a list of some of the most common spyware-laden 'free' applications and software packages. Look familiar? If so, read on and learn how to get rid of these craplications.

* Weatherbug * Realplayer media player * MyWebSearch Toolbar * Comet Cursor * Cool Web Search * Internet Optimizer * 180 Solutions * HuntBar / WinTools * Grokster * Kazaa * Download Accelerator Plus * FlashGet * GoZilla * NetAnts * Any "Gator" or "GAIN" products

Spyware and System Performance

One or two pieces of spyware usually aren't noticeable unless they spawn pop-ups or other forms of advertising. Problems normally only begin to manifest as the number of active spyware programs increases, causing a greater drain on your system resources. A major problem with many forms of spyware is that they are very poorly designed, making the code inefficient and often buggy - If you have spyware on your computer and you experience unexplained 'crashes', 'lock-ups' or critical errors, it's likely that the cause is a buggy piece of spyware hiding in your computer and crashing things as it tries to spy on you.

How to Get Rid of Spyware FREE

Here I will introduce you to some of the best FREE products on the market for getting this nasty spyware off of your computer. I keep capitalizing the word 'free' to emphasize that I am not trying to sell you something here. All of the programs I am about to recommend to you are absolutely free, and the best at what they do. In fact, most of these free spyware-removal utilities are better than the crap many other sites try to sell you. In fact, there are dozens of anti-spyware programs that not only cost your hard earned money, but are complete frauds and do nothing to remove spyware from your machine. Beware!

I will begin with an overview of the least technical solutions and then move on to more advanced programs. Chances are you will only need to use one of the next two programs to take care of 99% of your spyware problems.
About the Author
Want to know more? You can read more tips on this subject, plus information to get rid of practically anything else that ails you - from bad breath to telemarketers to cellulite - at How To Get Rid Of Stuff!
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