The Things You Learn About Spy Ware!
In the past few days There have been some wonderful and very serious discussions on The Gameboomers Message Board, a "home away from home" for me and a place where I often hang my virtual hat. We've been speaking about the dangerous of Spyware and the like with particular regard to the "Pest Infestations" our beloved Computers can unfortunately pick up while we "surf the net". I've decided to catalog them here and provide a link to some of the discussions for the benefit of my readers as well.
To be sure these Virtual maladies can slow down our systems and as a direct result can render them practically useless. And just what will
we do if we just allow ourselves sit ideley by and let these vermin
dictate what goes on inside the privacy of our own Computers? Not be playing Myst4, Lights Out, Silver Earring or online games much, I can promise you.
We must be ever vigilant in our defense against this type of scumm! So...how do we do this you may very well ask???
The answer here is a simple one:
I also was very pleased to note that Mr. Howes does not belong nor is financed by any of the groups or sites he writes about. Very objective. All in all, a well done investigation, Mr. Howes!
- Remember that knowledge is Power!
I'm placing here on this page a few links to get you started. The rest is up to you.
- The Spyware Test Guide CT-4,2004 by Eric L Howes
This Test pits 20 Anti-Spyware and Anti-Adware against 15 malicious programs and/or files downloaded off the net from Grokster. It offers a clear:
# of False-Positives for each program
# of files removed "X/134"
Links for possible downloads and further information
This particular link of information is the one that really got me started and made me realize just how widespread this whole "yada-yaya" really is. You know... I don't care much for the human solicitors who come to my brick & mortar door from time to time trying to sell me "the latest-Lord-knows-what".
Or how about those "telemarketers" who call you up on the phone and disconnect you while your in the middle of a 3day "Silver Earring Demo" Download??? Nope! I don't have happy thoughts when I think of them... and I feel the same way about Spyware and Adware!!!
- Download.com's Spyware Central
Downloads.com has an immense amount of info packed into this little page. A big Thanks to Shaolinphil and Johnboy298 from Gameboomers for bringing it to my attention.
- Pest Patrol Database
Here you'll be able to locate and get a description of many pests with don't belong on your system.
Example: Type in: HOTBAR and just see what comes up!
- The SPYWAREBLOG from SPYWARE Warrior
Lots a very informative bits of information on this subject complete with referrals, archives
- C NET's NEWS.COM
As Shaolinphil and Johnboy298 suggests this topic. It most definitely is a must read
- Eric Howes Privacy & Security Page
If you Bookmark nothing else from this article, I implore you to Bookmark this link. Read it, Use it, Live by it.
- Spyware/Adware/Hijackware Tools
Here are lists (including links) of various types of software to use against the fight of keeping your system safe from those who would invade our privacy, virtual telemarketing, do our systems harm or worse.
- Rogue Anti-Spyware
Just like in reality, our virtual world is full of STRANGERS. Not everyone is our friend (present company excepted, of course.) There are those who with predatory like tactics are out to make a buck at the expense of the inexperienced Internet user. It is so important to READ before you download... and know how to search in the appropriate places before choosing those programs which might do you more harm than good.
- Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Products & Websites by Eric L Howes and presented by Spy Warrior.com
The title really does say it all. I have to tell you that my eyes had been opened and I am very grateful to my "Boomer Buddies" for pointing it out to me. I actually had tried a few of these programs on the list unaware that they were not what they seemed to be. No wonder my computer crashed!
(Example: ADAWARE knockoff... and believe me, you need to use the REAL DEAL, my friends!!!)
Here also on this page of his marvelous site Mr Howes lists, as mentioned in the link above, some extremely startleing Topics:
- Rogue/Suspect Anti-Spyware Sites
I don't recommend checking any of these out...Lord know what one might catch... But it's really nice to know that the research was done.
Complete with comments
- Trustworthy Anti-Spyware Products
Here are where the recommendations are listed, along with some valuable tips for further protection and we can do before downloading anything. But be careful... there aren't many which he actually endorses, make sure that you read it carefully.
- Run an anti-spyware scanner (or two...)
- Install anti-spyware protection
- Lock down your browser
- Securely configure the Internet zone
- Add bad sites to the Restricted sites zone
- Use an alternative browser
- Other Anti-Spyware Tools
- If Your PC is Infested w/ Spyware...
Here he offers concrete suggestions in plain English to try to correct the problem.
- Google & Anti-Spyware Products
A very informative warning about using the paid search results. They aren't always what they might seem to be. Learn to use your best judgement.
- More Information
Finally, the bottom of this page suggests more links for further reading and education.
It is truly my wish that all of you will take the time to learn about this very grave danger that we all face every time we connect to the Internet. It will never go away, it will only get worse and more and more virulent. I feel that it touches all of us and everyone else who surfs online. I receive countless emails asking to help with a game only to find that part of the reasons it won't work is because their systems are so heavily bogged down with this garbage. It is my sincere hope that this research will be of some help to one and all.
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