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June 27, 2005
It's Back to the Drawing Board on Anti-Spyware
A recent update to an
article written by Bill Hely (Author of "The Hacker's Nightmare")
has prompted me to change the anti-spyware programs that launch
automatically when I boot up and shutdown my computers.
AdAware and either
Xoftspy or Spybot-S&D launched at Startup. Not the best
choice anymore, it seems. Webroot Spy Sweeper performed a
full spyware sweep at shutdown.
on Adware and Spyware Removers, he reported that Eric Howes, an
independent tester at the University of
Illinois compared and tested more than 20 of the most popular
and best respected anti-adware applications against hundreds
of adware threats, and the results surprised a lot of the
AdAware SE came in 3rd and
7th. probably OK for a couple of free programs, but the
disturbing thing was the actual detection figures.
detected a mere 33% of the hundreds of adware components
tested for, and
AdAware didn't fare much better at 47%. Those
two combined, a combination that is usually recommended, could
only come up with 54% of the total infections.
The new recommendations, based on Howes'
research are Giant AntiSpyware
with a detection score of
Webroot Spy Sweeper
- next best with 48%.
Combined, they had a rate of 70%, by far the best of any
possible combination of two packages.
was acquired by Microsoft in December 2004 -- their version
of the software that was tested by Howes is now called
and is currently available as a Free download.
Unfortunately, it isn't going to be available for my Win98SE
machine. I will definitely use it on the Win2000 Desktop and XP
Laptop machines in our household.
I hope you have a chance to
Bill's full article at the Articles and Reports section of our "Firewalls and Virus Protection" website. It includes many more
valuable suggestions for avoiding and removing these pests.
June 18, 2005
I was nearly trapped by a
software! (from a recent
article by Richard Rossbauer)
Recent problems when using may
computer raised my suspicions that a hijacker or other malware
program had infiltrated its protective software.
Too many crashes and program
hang-ups were taking place to be normal. Yes, there really shouldn't
be any problems in a virus and spyware free computer. But, who is
blessed with such a pure machine?
The experts nearly all agree that upwards of 90 percent of all
computers used to visit the Internet are infected with some sort of
virus, adware, spyware or malware. And even though my startup
routine includes automatic sweeps by two different spyware sweepers
and one virus scanner, stuff could still get in.
So, I tried a new anti-spyware software advertised in a recent
newsletter to which I subscribe. This program indicated that two of
the nastiest browser hijackers in circulation and two equally nasty
malwares were buried in my Registry and "ini" files!
I was dumbfounded! How did my top rated protective programs
miss them? Not only did they get by the start-up protective
June 12, 2005
Yet another of my favorite sites is posting with RSS
Bill Hely, author of the
"Hackers Nightmare" has kept owners of his ebook updated with
periodic emails. His email message to me today announced that future
updates will also be presented in his new Blog with an RSS feed.
And why not? As delivery of email messages becomes more uncertain
due to increasing Spam filtering activity, the potential for missing
these important updates increases significantly.
Bill isn't the only author, publisher, internet marketer and Blogger
adding the little orange buttons to their online offerings. The
icons are appearing on an increasing
number of web logs, product promotion, newsletter, service, and
general information sites.
One of the great things about RSS, in my opinion, is the potential
reducing spam, virus and spyware infections, identity theft, browser
hijacking and other malicious practices. Why?
June 10, 2005
A Few Basic
'Being Safe Online' Tips
One of our website visitors
prepared and sent me a brief list of tips she follows when surfing
online. Bea Kunz wrote it as a short, quick reading article.
I feel it's really worthwhile sharing because it's a good reminder
of the basic things we should all know but might occasionally
She said "I have repeated this so many times that my friends
and family are starting to run when they see me coming".
I hope you take a minute to check out her Safe Surfing reminders HERE
June 8, 2005
Spammers are looking for your email address
I just read this article by
News Columnist Jim Edwards. He described
some things that anyone can do to minimize having their email
addresses harvested and used by spammers.
If these spammers have criminal
intent, the spam they send could be loaded with sneaky spyware that
might eventually trap you into some really unpleasant situations.
Here's what Jim wrote:
Despite the fact that
Federal legislation (the CANSPAM act) made it illegal, harvesting email
addresses from the web using automated robots remains alive and well.
Spammers who need fresh email addresses release software
spider programs that comb the Internet and suck email
addresses off Web pages, guest books, and anywhere else you
might post your email address.
Once they get your email address, spammers will trade it
around like 5th graders with a new pack of Pokemon cards at
recess and you can expect the avalanche of email to begin
flooding your inbox.
In order to combat this still rampant practice of stealing (read
June 2, 2005
Are you sure you selected the best anti-spyware
Everywhere you turn anymore - TV,radio, Newspapers and magazines
-there's an advertisement for anti-spyware software - - all claiming
to be the best of the best.
Too many choices - which anti-spyware
solution should you use and how can a person know which one will
really keep them safest?
I suggest that it'll take more than just one program to provide the
best protection. Two, and possibly even three are necessary.
Making the choices among the increasing number of available programs
can be somewhat overwhelming.
Here's a way to make it a bit easier. Just do a quick
(read full article)
May 31, 2005
Add this excellent information blog to your list of
Must Read spyware avoidance resources
In my opinion, the more useful
information you have about the scourge of malicious spyware, the
better chance you'll have of
avoiding the grief it will bring.
I just found Wayne
Cunningham's Spyware-Confidential blog. On the chance that it could
take you as long to find it as it took me, here's a link
directly to it.
Information so well written and presented fits perfectly into my
campaign to educate the lesser informed and everyday Internet users
about the 'problem' of surreptitious attacks on our personal
security and privacy.
I encourage you to visit it:
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