The whole arena of spyware intrusion is extremely fluid with the spyware writers trying to outsmart everyone, and the software protection writers diligently working to keep up with the hundreds of new worms and viruses appearing nearly every day.
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Fortunately, there are generous individuals and organizations who
have the facilities to review the work of the Anti-spyware
developers and make the results available for all of us everyday
users of the Internet.
The challenge for us is to know where to go for these results and
recommendations, and to know which of the anti-spyware and
anti-virus programs to use on our computers.
There are many web masters, newsletter, and Blog publishers who
constantly monitor the results published by the anti-spyware
reviewers. Most of them pass these information alerts on to their
readers and subscribers, often offering suggestions and advice
based on their own personal experiences and expertise.
A real benefit for us is that most of the top rated anti-spyware and
anti-virus programs are free, or available in Trial or Demo versions.
All we need do is find out where to get them. But first, we need to
find the reviewers who post the alerts.
If subscribing to newsletters and Blogs isn’t your usual surfing
activity, you can do a search for security alert newsletters or
security alert blogs. For example, do a Yahoo search for “security
alert newsletter” (use the quotation marks to get the most
appropriate search results). Do the same for a Yahoo or Google
search on “security alert blog”. (Blogs are web logs).
Investigate the first and second pages of the search results and
select three or four of the listings as a starting point. Many
newsletters are published on a monthly schedule and may not
contain the most current information. Some are published weekly.
They may be better choices.
Blogs are usually much more current since Blog authors often post
their information every couple of days – some even on a daily
Blogs are riding a major wave of popularity. For the serious
searchers of current information, this is a great benefit. There
aren’t as many Blog sites as web sites yet, so it’s often much
easier to find the information you’re looking for.
Many Blog authors make their publications available for RSS (Real
Simple Syndication) readers. If you have added a RSS reader to
your browser, you can get up-to-the-minute alerts presented to
you automatically. You don’t need to go looking for them.
Many updated browsers, like Netscape 8 and Firefox include this
feature as part of their package. Expect the newest Internet
Explorer to have a RSS Reader, too.
Don’t be overwhelmed by all of the information you get. After doing
these searches and reviews once or twice, it will be a simple task
to select what you need to keep yourself current.
For starters, it is generally accepted practice to select and use at
least two anti-spyware programs. Choose from among the two or
three that receive the highest recommendations and ratings from
the newsletter and Blog authors. Be especially watchful for and
select one of those programs that provides ‘Real Time’ monitoring.
(Which means that they monitor and catch any incoming bugs that
may try to infect your machine while you are online).
Downloading instructions are nearly always present with the
reviews. If not, you’ll find sites like c|net.com to be a good source
for download links.
Just don’t forget to check for and update your security software.
The spyware writers won’t give you a break if you do.