Whenever you go online, you are at risk of having adware and spyware installed on your system. Well-funded companies are seeking to invade your computer without your knowledge or consent; their software can slow or crash your computer, overload your Internet connection, and potentially invade your privacy or permit personal information to be stolen.
This is not a problem that is overhyped; it’s a threat that requires vigilance and paranoia by every single computer user.
Microsoft Antispyware is the best program currently available for removing adware/spyware and preventing it from returning to your computer. It monitors activity on your computer and prevents unauthorized changes; it automatically updates itself and does overnight scans; and it gives useful feedback about what it finds. Everyone should install it. It is as important as your antivirus program. Fortunately, it is free and easy to install.
Keep these tips in mind when you install Microsoft Antispyware:
- When you click to download the program, you do NOT have to “validate your copy of Windows.”
- When you run it the first time, you should agree to let it monitor your system and do regular scans, but you do NOT have to “join the Spynet community.”
- Each antispyware program catches slightly different things. If you believe Microsoft Antispyware has missed something, install and run one of the other programs – for example, AdAware or Spybot.
- Never install any free program or click on any unexpected window onscreen unless you are one hundred percent convinced that it comes from a trusted source. No screensavers, no wallpaper changers, no games, no weather monitors, no file sharing programs, no popup blockers, no computer utilities. They will hurt you.
- You are not adequately protected against online threats unless you are running Windows XP with Service Pack 2. Antivirus and antispyware programs are important, but running WinXP with Service Pack 2 is essential.