Windows and Spyware
At the time of writing, Adware and Spyware are a problem unique to the Windows world. We have not seen examples of this issue on the Macintosh platform. Therefore, this workshop focuses on their prevention and removal in Windows operating systems. There are no equivalents of the tools used to remove Adware and Spyware for Mac OS X.
Adware and Spyware Prevention
The most important step you can take to prevent your computer from accumulating Adware and Spyware is to stop using Internet Explorer to view web pages. At the time of writing, most of the malicious Web sites that install software without your consent take advantage of weaknesses in Internet Explorer (all versions up to 7.0). There are a variety of alternative web browsers for Windows XP to choose from. We recommend using Mozilla Firefox, which can be downloaded for free from the Mozilla Foundation.
You should also avoid the more questionable Web sites. Most malicious software gains access to your computer by piggybacking on temporary files or downloads that are connected to questionable Web sites.
Adware and Spyware Removal
There are a variety of programs designed to remove Adware and Spyware from your computer. Most of them have interfaces similar to the anti-virus software we have seen earlier in this workshop. The following applications are free for personal use: