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4. The Web > 34. Kill Spyware and Web Bugs

Kill Spyware and Web Bugs

You don’t have to be victimized by obnoxious applications that spy on you, hijack your browser, or worse. Fight back with these tips and tools.

For most people, spyware has replaced viruses or worms as the most-feared and obnoxious danger on the Internet. A relatively few number of people become infected by viruses or worms, but it seems as if almost everyone you know has been hit by some kind of spyware.

Spyware is a catch-all phrase that encompasses many different types of obnoxious programs. The least intrusive of the bunch report on your surfing activity to a web site, which tracks what you do and then delivers ads to your PC based on your interests. But increasingly, they are becoming more intrusive. Some of them spawn pop-up swarms of ads that appear so quickly they overwhelm your PC, slowing it down and making it unusable. Others hijack your browser home page so that no matter what you do, you’re sent to a home page of the hijacker’s choosing, which might be a pornographic site, or perhaps a web site that spawns even more pop ups. And some kinds of spyware, called keyloggers, literally spy on you by watching every keystroke you make, and then send that information to someone on the Internet.


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