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Daily Q&A: How can I prevent spyware on my computer?

How can I prevent spyware from attaching to my computer?

How Stuff Works and PC Magazine recently posted tips on dealing with spyware. Spyware is software used to gather information from computers. Once installed on your computer, it can be used to send off information about your Internet searches and personal information, including log-ins, passwords and financial data.

Here are some suggestions for protecting yourself:

How Stuff Works says it's important to keep Windows up-to-date by activating the automatic updates in the control panel.

• Use antivirus and antispyware software and hardware applications and keep them updated. Some of the most popular antivirus software packages include Norton, Microsoft Defender, McAfee, Spybot, Search & Destroy, Pest Control and Grisoft, according to How Stuff Works.

• Beware the cookies. PC Magazine offers Cookie Cop 2 to help control cookies.

• Avoid the popup ad for free antispyware and any other downloads from sources you don't know. How Stuff Works recommends download.com as one reliable provider of free utilities.

For more tips on dealing with spyware, see How Stuff Works' article at http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/how-to-tech/how-to-avoid-spyware.htm or PC Magazine at http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1522568,00.asp.

Question for the Consumer's Edge? Send it to ipenn@sptimes.com or twitter.com/consumers_edge. Questions are answered only in this daily feature.

Daily Q&A: How can I prevent spyware on my computer? 10/22/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2009 4:26pm]
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