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- This Week's Free Computer Tip -

165 - Eliminate Spying on Your Computer Use

This bulletin is for anyone who is annoyed at the volume and content of pop-up ads you receive. Even better, this bulletin is for frustrated parents who share their computers with younger members of the family (the ones who tend to be more reckless in surfing the net). The problem is that as you visit sites on the Internet, without your knowledge or permission, companies are planting information-gathering tools on your computer. Some are relatively passive, merely recording sites you have visited. These are used to target your computer for pop-up ads they think you might buy from. Other's are much more aggressive and invasive. The worst of the lot are spy programs which actually record keystrokes you type. I'm going to use the generic term "spyware" to refer to all types of these unwelcome guests. Use the program I'm about to recommend and you can stay on top of the problem.

Here's the suggestion -
There is a program you can install on your computer which will examine your files in much the same way as your anti-virus program does. It compares them to a database of known spyware, presents you with a list of what it finds, and then allows you to remove the offending programs. The program is called "Ad Aware", and it comes in two versions. One is free and the other sells for a small fee. In terms of what they catch and remove, they are the same. The for-sale version is more convenient to use but an awful pot of people use the free version and find it just fine. It's your choice. I have been running it long enough to believe it will not cause you any problems. While it gives me the opportunity to review items to be removed first, I am confident enough in the product at this point to just tell it to remove whatever it finds. I run the program daily now, with confidence.

Here's where you find it -


It's a small enough download even for dial-up users.

Parents with kids - I'm sure you can see the benefit already. It's difficult to get the kids to surf safely. This program runs after the fact but it is still very effective in removing the offending programs. It ends the argument over whether a program is bad or not. The experts at Ad Aware make the determination for you.

As with anti-virus programs, you need to continually download the up-to-date databases, but the downloads are very quick.

Finally, a note about what Congress has done to protect you -
In a word - nothing. Oh, they have protected the spammers and pop-up-advertisers. You should be angry about this. Instead of protecting the victims they have instead made sure that the advertisers are protected. We have been left with the "right" to "opt out", as if we are the problem and we should be the ones who ought to have to take action. It's good to be a corporation in the United States! Okay, enough said.

Give Ad Aware a try. I think you'll like it.

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