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The spy vs spy battle for your info

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People want to know everything you do on your computer, and want you to view what they want you to see. Sound paranoid? Adware and spyware are becoming more and more prevalent. If you're using Kazaa to download files, Comet Cursor to view websites or Gator to help keep track of your passwords and user info, you've got Spyware. Even the highly popular DivX media viewer uninstalls anti-adware software. Spyware and adware can slow down or crash your machine, and can leave you vulnerable to virii.
Of course, this applies mostly to IE or AOL users. Opera and Mozilla users, for example, don't have to panic... yet.


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I had a massive performace problem that I had originally attributed to my old computer, but I suspect now it was riddled with spyware I downloaded in ignorance. This one's clean, so far.

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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And why oh why hasn't this stuff been made illegal yet? I had the same problem with mine.

Tlaren }:=8}

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No one is fully safe.

Companies are finding out ways to get past the inherrent protections in Mozilla and opera based browsers, and are starting to be able to install spyware on Windows systems through these browsers. And they already have figured ways to bundle spyware with Linux apps, and soon they will break through to browser spyware as well(probably by installing it in you home directory).

As for why it is still legal. Most of it is legal, some actually isn't. But the reason most of it is legal, is MONEY. Plain and simple, some of the largest companies that produce spyware(MS, AOL, Netscape) have massive amounts of money to lubricate congress.

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A good way to defend yourself is to get a free copy of the excellent Ad-Aware from Lavasoft USA. It finds and kills sneaky spyware on your computer.
Also, personal firewalls like Norton Personal Firewall can warn you whenever any software on your computer tries to access the Internet and let you choose to block it. It'll also help defend you from inbound attacks from hackers.
The biggest and simplest security boost you can give yourself is to quit using IE and Outlook and use Mozilla instead.
IMHO yada yada ;-)

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Ad Aware is, IIRC, the program DivX uninstalls, so if you had it, then DLed DivX, I'd re-check for it again.

Melissa "MelSkunk" Drake

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About the author

MelSkunk (Melissa Drake)read storiescontact (login required)

a student and Skunk from Toronto, ON, interested in writting, art, classic cars and animals