Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Singing the spywaye uninstall blues

From Slashdot:

Anti-Spyware Test (Guide)

If any lessons or conclusions can be drawn from these tests at all, they are quite general:

* Spyware and adware can prove quite difficult to remove, even for dedicated anti-spyware scanners.

In the second and third group of tests, for example, one of the installed programs prevented the anti-spyware scanners from running on reboot, a common method used by anti-spyware scanners to remove stubborn spyware and adware that is currently in memory on a PC. As a result, some spyware and adware was not removed by the anti-spyware scanners during reboot that otherwise might have.

* No single anti-spyware scanner removes everything. (1) Even the best-performing anti-spyware scanner in these tests missed fully one quarter of the "critical" files and Registry entries.

* It is better to use two or more anti-spyware scanners in combination, as one will often detect and remove things that others do not.

* Where possible, users should become familiar with the use of HijackThis! in order to remove stubborn spyware and adware that standard anti-spyware scanners fail to remove. Less experienced users should know how to get help from the expert volunteers who provide free HijackThis! log advice and analysis at major anti-spyware forums.

* Prevention is always preferable to scanning and removal, and users should securely configure their PCs and install anti-malware protection to prevent the installation of spyware and adware in the first place.

* Moreover, users should learn to practice safe computing habits, which include avoiding web sites and programs of unknown or dubious provenance and carefully reading End User License Agreements and Privacy Policies.

Why isn’t spyware illegal?

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