Posted by Lori Ayre on March 28, 2004

Have you noticed that you're getting pop-up ads that are somehow more targeted to your interests than they used to be? Is your computer running more and more slowly?

Could be you are experiencing an invasion of spyware! Huh?

For an easy-to-read backgrounder, check out The Christian Science Monitor's Is your computer spying on you?". The article defines the different forms of spyware including browser hijackers, keyloggers, malware and spybots. It explains that spyware is different from cookies and explains why spyware can be dangerous.

The article recommends some useful tools for keeping a handle on these sneaky, annoying programs. Here are the free ones they mention:

I'm planning to give Spybot a run because in addition to rooting out the "uninvited Web-borne flotsam" it also has some other utilities I'm interested in including a file shredder, the ability to block adware servers and a tool for controlling what apps load when I start my computer. I'll let you know how it goes......