Spyware is Watching You

By: Stephen Bucaro

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Spyware is Watching You

By Stephen Bucaro

Advertising is getting far too intrusive and invasive.
Advertisers that are weak in ethics, and strong in grabbing
for money, don't see a problem with installing spy programs
on your computer without your knowledge.

In Internet Explorer's "Tools" menu, select "Internet
Options...". On the "Security tab" click on the "Custom
level..." button. If you don't have the "Disable" or the
"Prompt" radio button set next to "Download ActiveX
controls", I can almost guarantee that someone has
installed a spy program on your computer and is monitoring
your web browsing activities.

Your Web surfing is being tracked and the data is being
sold to third parties. These thieves make big money
selling your profile to companies who then target you for
advertising. Popup advertisements appear even when you
visit web sites that don't use popup windows.



The Lavasoft company keeps a reference database of all spy
programs and provides a free Windows program that scans
your hard drive and registry for spy programs. Their
Ad-aware program lets you remove the spy programs from
your computer.

At Lavasoft's website www.lavasoft.com select "Download"
in the "Support" menu. On the Download page scroll down
to "Full install" and click on a download source, (ie
download.com). This will download the 1.45 Mb file aaw6.exe.

Double-click on aaw6.exe to execute the installation
program (with Windows 2000, first login as Administrator).
The installation program puts an icon for Ad-aware on your
desk top.

Double click on the icon to execute Ad-aware. In the
Ad-aware program window, click on the [Scan now] button.
On the "Preparing system scan" page click on the [Next]
button.

Ad-aware takes a few minutes to scan your hard drive and
registry for spy programs and data tracking cookies. On
my system it returned the results:

44 objects recognized
1 Registry key identified
43 files identified

When the scanning is complete, click on the [Next] button.
This takes you to the "scanning results page" which
displays a list of objects found. One object found on my
computer was "Alexa Data Miner". Then click on the [next]
button. A dialog box appears asking if you want to remove
the objects. Click on the [OK] button to delete the spy
objects.

The free Ad-aware Standard Edition removes spy software
and data tracking cookies from your system. The $27.00
Ad-aware Plus Edition adds real-time monitoring and
blocking to the program. Not only can you remove spy
programs from your computer, but you can also BLOCK them
from invading your system in the first place! I found
Ad-aware easy to install and useFree Articles, and very effective.

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