Monday, August 31, 2009

Free Software - Norton spyware alternative

Another thing Norton does in their security suite is offer spyware protection. Technically the correct term would be malware. Here are some terms you may want to know

Spyware: a program that monitors your computer activity and reports to a server
AdWare: a program that creates pop ups typically to advertise
Fishing: Looking for someone's password typically to banking information.
Pop up Blocker: doesn't do anything but close windows that pop up.

Firefox and IE both have built in pop up blockers. You shouldn't install one of those.

As far as getting rid of spyware, you typically don't need something that is super active. An occasional scan will typically be enough. I haven't even needed my antivirus or antimalware software in over 6 years. That being said, I still run it. Not having some kind of protection is like driving your car with out insurance. You may go 20 years with out an accident but when you do have one, you'll be glad you have it.

Since I rarely would use the program, I'm looking for something that requires little to no resources from my PC. Here are a few that I've found that work well.

Spybot Search and Destroy: A good program that blocks internet problems and can scan for malware programs. You can download it from THIS site.

Malwarebytes: Another good program to get rid of any junk on your system. You can get that from HERE. Malwarebytes asks you to buy the program but you don't need to do that. Just keep using the free scanning as that is all you will ever need.

I have both installed on my PC since it doesn't hurt to have files as long as they aren't in memory.

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