Small Business Questions & Answers

 

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Ask About Anti-Adware/Spyware Tools

by Paranoid in Peoria | May 26, 2012

Subject :Internet

Dear Toolkit,

I keep hearing about "adware" and "spyware" and "keystroke loggers" and "Trojans" and "probes" invading my computer. What can I do to combat these threats? I'm nervous about downloading anything these days. How do I know the cure won't be worse than the disease?

Paranoid in Peoria

Dear Paranoid,

The threats you mention are the lions and tigers and bears of the online world these days. To combat these perils, I use three anti-spyware programs on my computer:

Ad-aware: www.lavasoftusa.com

. . .and

Spybot Search & Destroy: www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

. . .and

Webroot's Spysweeper: http://www.webroot.com/En_US/index.html

Another excellent program is Malwarebytes.

Your "who can you trust" question is a good one. Be very careful to use the exact links I mentioned above. Don't go Googling "adaware" or "spybot" as you could end up with who knows how many imposters who pay the search engines for top placements and play the indexing game in order to entice you to pay them to invade your computers for every sort of nefarious purpose.

Be sure to check these programs for updates frequently.  The people writing these malicious programs are some of the most creative and industrious people on earth (pity their talents can't be harnessed for good!).  New threats appear hourly and an updated program offers very little protection.