Whilst browsing the internet its nigh-on impossible to avoid picking up spyware that slows down your browser, facilitates annoying popups and redirects your browser to dodgy commercial sites, meaning that some form of internet protection is essential. Ideally used in conjunction with both a firewall and an antivirus package such as Kapersky or Norton, Swedish software company Lavasoft's Ad-Aware package is efficient, easy to use and best of all completely free.
The program can be downloaded from Lavasoft's website and can be installed in around ten minutes, and is extremely straightforward to operate. As well as live protection for programs, registry and networks, AD Aware includes a Scanning Mode that when ran checks your entire system for spyware and automatically removes it, providing a report when finished identifying what items were found. A scan will only take around ten minutes or less on most systems (checking through all program files), although there is also an option to perform a full scan that systematically checks all files on your computer, although this of course takes a lot longer to complete.
Using Ad-Aware regularly (eg several times a week) can keep your pc running noticably more smoothly and is a useful and straightforward program that provides quick, free protection with no drawbacks or hidden catches.
Ad-aware is a great product by Lavasoft that I happened to stumble upon one day. At first I was unsure what it would be like, but it actually is rather great. Teamed with my anti-virus (AVG), I find that this product is really effective.
It's a software that finds potentially harmful spyware and allows you to get rid of it from your computer.
It scans your computer and there are three different type of scans you can carry out. These are smart scan (which just scans the main areas of your computer and is really quick!).. a full scan (that checks the whole computer, including all the local drives of your computer) and then there's a custom scan (a scan you can set to your own requirements). You can set scans with the scheduler, which means that you can choose when you want your scan to run and how, according to your needs and usage.
It's free and in my opinion, it's a must have for heavy internet users!
Ad-Aware's most recent edition is "Ad-Aware Anniversary Edition 8" it is a free program which provides solid protection against spyware and malware. It has many improved features from since it previous version such as:
*Ad Watch Live: which runs silently in the background of your PC and blocks malicious programs from starting to affect your PC.
*Root Kit Removal: Root Kits are a small selection of utilities which a hacker would install on your PC once they have gained access through a virus; these then give them constant access to your system files.
*System Scans: These are much faster than previous versions, mine take about 10 minutes to complete, and when finished provide you with a log of infected items which are then cleaned. You can also choose to have a scan running in the background which uses minimal system resources and memory.
*Automatic Updates: this is very useful as it means your spyware definitions are always up to date and every time you scan it insures you wont miss any new problems.
The new interface of the program makes it much more easier to use and navigate.
Installation was a bit slow but easy as it's the usual "next...next...next" and it does ask if you want to sign up for its newsletter at the end.
After using this program for several years now and noticing improvements each time a new version came out; this is by far the best they have produced so far as scan times are much faster - along with the great detection rates as usual.
I would recommend this program to anyone who likes free software and already has Anti virus software and would like an additional program to help keep their PC clean of spyware and malware.
Thanks For Reading.
For many years Lavasoft's Ad-Aware has been the defacto tool for removing those horrible mishaps where you've accidentally downloaded a piece of nasty spyware or malware.
Software is very straight forward to use, either you a quick scan or a full scan and then you click the great big Scan Now button to scan. This is eventually followed by a results showing what can and should be deleted from your computer.
The free version works great, the pro version offers a bit more such as a memory-resident program but I wouldn't say it's worth forking out money for.
Lavasoft Ad-Aware is still going strong so much so that there are even two more versions that you can upgrade to (one even being free).
However, since Ad-Aware came to the forefront, many more utilities such as CounterSpy and SpywareDoctor have come along that prove things can be done better and quicker. I've come across many situations where Ad-Aware could not find a particular nasty piece of spyware but even more occasions where it did find spyware but never managed to successfully remove it.
Overall, Ad-Aware needs to be in your medicine box to keep your PC healthy, it does work but you should always use more than. I recommend the above too programs as well as Spybot Search & Destroy and Malware Anti-Malware as great compliments to your war on spyware.
Ad-aware is a spyware and ad removal program that I use as part of my regular anti virus and software programs along with AVG, Spybot and CCleaner.
It's surprising good for a free program, and you get a lot of computer experts recommending it, so if I was into that kind of thing I'd buy the extended version of this rather than any of its competitors.
It's free to download and easy to install. Just go to download.com and search for it for a download.
So what does it do? Basically, when you're browsing the Internet, rubbish can download itself onto your computer without you realising, Funnily enough, if you share a computer with someone (not naming names), it seems a lot more likely to happen...
Anyway, Ad-Aware won't get rid of viruses for you, which is why you need a separate form of anti-virus software, but what it will do is inform you of potential threats relating to a lot of different kinds of ad ware and spy ware attempting to find its way onto your computer. You can run manual scans (or set a scan time if you buy the full version) to see what it picks up. Often it will only pick up tracking cookies, which aren't much of a threat so it's up to you whether you delete them or not. However, it does pick up other rubbish on a regular basis too so I'd recommend running it once a week.
As with similar programs of this nature, it requires updates on a regular basis as hackers and other evil people come up wtih new ways to make computer and Internet users lives a misery. The updates are free though and Ad-Aware will often prompt you when it's time to download an update, so keep checking.
----What is Spyware------
In case you didn't know, the range of products made by Lavasoft, are designed to seek and remove programs which monitor your actions without your knowledge or permission. These pieces software are collectively called "spyware" and include, malicious and invasive software that may harm your computer, be used to gather your bank and credit card details or just monitor your online surfing for the benefit of advertising companies. Spyware not only is an invasion of privacy, it can also slow our computer down by clogging up your computer and impending its ability to run multiple programs (ram). There can be thousands of pieces of spyware on your computer and you may not even know they are there.
------Do you have spyware?------
Signs you have such programs running on your computer are:
· Slow Internet connection speed, well below your normal speed. (can also be caused by firewall software)
· When you type in an unrecognised address in your address bar you are redirected to unknown search pages or other websites.
· Your computer may take an excessively long time to start up, as in effect your computer is loading up a multitude of programs. However this may be due to a number of other factors as well, including ant virus software and old age!
· Pop ups may be getting through your blockers.
· Lots of Spam email getting into your inbox.
· Some programs may not be able to run.
· Some programs (especially AOL refuse to close down on turning off the computer)
· Settings are being changed on your computer which you do not remember changing yourself!
As I have said the basic version of the program, Adaware SE, is perfect for finding spyware and getting rid of it. However its main weakness is that it cannot prevent it coming back, and most of the time, within a few minuets of surfing, your hard drive will be clogged again.
I found this a huge problem, as I would be online on average for 7 hours a day on my laptop and would leave my desktop on for days at a time, downloading. As I used to use a variety of p2p file sharing programs, I would have a huge problem with spyware. It got to the point where I had so much on my computer after a week of downloading that the computer would freeze, refuse to respond, and I would get massages popping up every few seconds trying to sell me various drugs!
I have used the free version of the Adaware software for many years and never had any problems with it. I would recommend the software to everyone, simply because it is free, reliable and does the job it is designed to do with no hassle.
------Adaware SE professional------
Adaware SE professional has many extra features which when combined, act to completely protect your computer from any form of spyware.
The ad-watch feature is a separate program which is like a firewall for spyware and prevents any such programs from getting from the Internet to your computer in the first place. This is extremely useful if you are running any p2p or other file sharing programs as it stops the multitude of malicious files which are trying to get to you through these programs. You can also set your preferred level of alerting, so you can be alerted if you have been attacked by a serious program. This means you can see what websites are the most dangerous and avoid them, if needed to on other computers.
------Features of Both versions------
Adaware also alerts you to any updates published by Lavasoft, which take around 10seconds to download with a broadband connection, and is done by the program itself (no annoying opening of browser windows) which ensures you stay protected from any new types of spyware.
There is also the ability to download extensions and plugins, such as language packs, which enable the program to be run on any operating system or make of computer.
Another useful feature is the process watch function which is included in the free basic version of the program but is always nice to have. This is the same as windows task manager but is a lot more reliable and efficient and will give you no time delay on ending processes and no irritating system messages.
The program keeps an archive off all the spyware it removes and stops, so you can see what it is doing. I personally have had 1336 files removed in the past three months and have had 2 browser hijack attempts. I have also had 312 attempt to find out my identity, so it's always nice to know you are getting what you are paying for.
------How do I use it?------
The ad-watch program of adaware professional should be set to load up on start up, as this means you are protected when your Internet connects, this is the most vulnerable time as your computer is exposed as anti virus software may not have loaded up.
It will run without you knowing it is there and will take up virtually no CPU space, and will not slow your computer down as other alternative software might.
If you have just bought the software, Adaware will scan your computer for spyware which is already there. This, you can do manually of for any reason you have to turn the software off (which you shouldn't) by opening up the program and clicking on the smart scan option. This will find any spyware which may be nestled in your registry and will pick up any that may have hijacked a lift on any files you have downloaded, in about 5minuets. Then you will be given the option to delete not only the spyware found, but also the files which may threaten your anonymity, such as cookies, tempory files and your list of recently opened documents opened in both windows and media player.
If the program cannot delete the files, it will quarantine them and delete them when you next turn on your computer. This may occur if you have any in your registry.
------Do I need it?------
The answer is yes. The basic program is free and available from www.download.com. And although this will get rid of any spyware on your computer, Adaware SE pro will stop any more getting into your computer. I would advise these categories of people to get it:
· If you surf the Internet a lot, and access a lot of suspect sites, i.e. not big well known sites.
· If you do a lot of shopping online or frequently do you're banking or exchange credit card details over the Internet.
· If you use file sharing programs (defiantly)
· If you leave your computer on for long periods of time unattended.
· If you have a network of computers, or have a company intranet.
These are the categories of surfers that are most at risk
------I have anti virus software, do I still need this?------
Again the answer is yes. Spyware is not malicious in most cases and will not be stopped by your firewall software or picked up by your anti virus software. However it can undermine your security systems and provide hackers with a back door into your computer. You will need some kind of anti spyware software to ensure your online safety.
------Ok so I need it, how much does it cost and where can I get it from?------
The professional software can be bought directly of the programmers website
for $39.95. Or from most large p.c retailers such as p.c world.
Just over a year ago I found out that, sometimes, when you visit websites, small programs are accepted by your computer without your knowledge. These small programs are able to track what websites you visit and what software you use and send the information to marketing companies so they can target you with junk mail. Some programs can also log your keystrokes which can lead to you being the victim of internet fraud.
I was already using Spybot Search & Destroy and thought I had found everything that it was possible to find that may have been messing with my computer without my knowledge. I'm always on the lookout for stuff that will help me to use the computer more efficiently...and I don't like my computer being messed with by someone else...especially someone I don't know or can't see. I was advised to install Lavasoft Ad-aware Free Edition to stop this problem and was told that it would be OK to run it along with Spybot.
I downloaded the program using the Google Search "ad-aware" (without the inverted commas) and found it at 'lavasoftusa.com'.
On the right of that page, if you click on 'Download Now', you are taken to another page that you scroll down to find two download links - one is "download.com" and the other is "pcworld.com" and I've found both to be reliable. It's worthwhile reading about what you intend to download at this point... but don't get paranoid... as the stuff it's going to find has probably been on your computer for months!
I downloaded the file and saved it in a new folder in My Documents (so that I could find it more easily) and installed the program which loads and then a light blue screen appears. I'd advise at this point to click on "Search for Updates", as long as you are connected to the internet, so that you have the latest updates available and are therefore protected from the latest threats. I found the default settings were suitable and didn't change anything, as basically I'm working on a tightrope...or is that walking on a treadmill?
Left click on "Start". You can then then set some options if you wish. To me that's a bit like deciding which wire to cut when de-fusing a bomb, as I have limited knowledge in all things computeristic, so I'd advise you to read the manual before you change or tweak anything. Personally I just leave it as it's set and click "Next"...it's that easy!
Sit back and watch...or make a brew! It doesn't take as long as Spybot Search & Destroy to finish but it's not exactly enthralling viewing! A word of warning...make sure the sound is low on the computer as when the program finishes scanning a weird sound occurs if it finds something...which it invariably does on mine. (That noise still makes me jump after more than a year of using it!)
If you want to delete all the files just right click and select all or you can select them individually if you want to...then click next...then OK...you will be amazed...or quietly satisfied if it says "Congratulations...no spyware found!"
Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition is a FREE program that can run alongside Spybot Search & Destroy. Apparently, they do the same job but I have found that one finds stuff that the other doesn't and I now use them both on an irregular basis (mainly because I forget!) I try to remember to run both programs on, roughly, a weekly basis or if the Internet browser is acting weird or even if I'm bored and waiting for inspiration. At least it's something to watch and there's a result at the end of it! That noise that makes you jump! (I suppose I should get out more!)
Enjoy Spybot Search & Destroy...it's FREE!
(if you want to you can upgrade for $27 to get more features.)
To sum up : Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition is really, really easy to install and to use and is extremely effective in removing the nasty stuff that I mentioned earlier. It made a massive difference to the performance of my computer. Even though it seemed OK before I used this program I was still amazed at what it found.
I haven't gone for the upgrade as yet, as it just seems to have a pop-up blocker as an extra which is already in Windows XP. Also, because the free version is so effective, I can't see any reason at the moment for upgrading. I'll let you know if I do and, obviously, write a review on it!
Ad-Aware is compatible with Microsoft Windows
98/98SE/ME/NT4/2000/XP/XP Home/XP Pro
Good luck and thanks for reading.
© John Groom 2006
There are many reviews on this already, but here is mine from a Technical Professional. I used this utility religiously. Some people say it doesn't perform well, but you must use it right! This utility best performs if installed, updated, and ran from safe mode in each account. It is even better to run it twice over. Seems like a lot of scanning, but when your a tech and people pay to clean their system. The more scans the better. It means less I will have to clean by hand. I have found some systems have spyware hidden in differnt user profiles. So just scanning on one user isn't good enough you need to scan on users incuding the administrator. However, I only see spyware being installed on multiple user accounts (even if they aren't used) if those users do not have passwords. It is possible to install software as another user if you know the password. IF your Administrator has not password then some spyware will install it self as an admin. THIS IS BAD. You should never let any software you do not install directly your self have admin privilages. For staticial reasons.. I have completely cleaned a system with AD-Aware that was infecected with nearly 20,000 spyware/adware programs and parasites. It took 6 scans repeated on 2 different users accounts with multiple reboots. This software will clean it.
My Pc was running slow for a few months and yet I performed de-frags, error checks, disk cleanup and all the neccessary tasks for a slow performing PC.
I then came across Ad-Aware and installed it. After AD-Aware had perfromed a full system scan, it had found 393 malicious scripts/adware/trackers and all sorts (not many as opposed to some of my friends who have been known to have had around 800).
I had them all removed immediately and since then I've had no probs with my PC's performance. The best thing about Ad-Aware is, it's free (personal use), although you can upgrade if you wish. Don't take my word for it, try it for yourself, what have you got to lose, it's FREE after all!
I got my first home computer just over a year ago, it was totally awesome, I could use a computer in my room for the first time ever. We eventually bought an AOL broadband account (what a big regret that was), and I was finally on the net. I knew nothing about firewalls or anti-virus, so I went without internet security for about a week, BIG mistake. Eventually my computer slowed down, and then I couldn't even establish an internet connection.
Soon that all changed, we changed ISP. Someone formatted my hard drive for me to rid my PC of AOL forever. Then as soon as our new package arrived, I was browsing the internet with no problems, but after a while it slowed down again because of no firewall or antivirus. I downloaded a free antivirus program (AVG) and a free firewall (zone alarm), things soon changed, my PC ran better than ever. But then more problems occured, I was told by my ISP tech support that I would most likely have "spyware" on my machine.
This is when I downloaded ad-aware.
And I just wanna say, on behalf of everyone who uses it, this program is indeed a blessing to our addictive computers. So thanks to Lavasoft for making this wizard.
Everyone download ad-aware, it's amazing. It stops your PC slowing down and makes it run a hell of a lot better.
Any of you who have read any of my opinions, will realise my PC has been totally unusable. This has been the direct result of little hidden programs that have found their way onto my machine. From different sources, but onto it none the less. I was under the impression that having anti virus software on my PC and always kept up to date would be enough to protect my PC, how wrong was I. The programs, I do mean programs, are not viruses, they are in a lot of ways far worse. They are called spyware and thiefware. They are from various companies and they get onto people’s computers to carry out a number of different tasks. Some programs cause pop-ups, the ads that appear in a new browser window for no apparent reason. Most pop-ups are harmless if not annoying. But some are far worse. They could cause you to reconnect your PC to a different server at a cost of £1.50 per minute. That could soon cost you hundreds if not thousands of pounds, the first anyone would know is when they get their phone bill. Other programs cause net searches to be redirected to sites you did not want. often online shops. To be honest I would not consider buying anything from a shop that uses such methods to attract customers to its site. All of these programs have one thing in common, they wrap themselves inside your machine and because they are all trying to send out information whilst you are online they cause your machine to become slower and slower. I had noticed that my computer was getting slower for some time. It was when I used a peer to peer program that things really got out of hand. I was getting booted off of the internet, was unable to connect without restarting the computer, my internet explorer was giving me strange web search results, that was when it was working. The list of problems was getting worse
by the day. I started to look closer at what I had been doing to cause this, I even went as far as looking at the small print that I had agreed to when I downloaded the peer to peer program (Kazaa). Well I will now always read the annoying longwinded terms and conditions. You know what I am on about its between two clicks of next, it says I agree with a box full of words that we have all not bothered to look too closely at. If I had bothered at the time I would have seen a whole list of programs that where downloaded along with the peer to peer program. These included programs called Cydoor and Gain. I could have bought online a version of Kazaa without these programs, but I thought I knew best. I even tried to delete the programs manually all that happened was Kazaa stopped working. But Kazaa was not the only culprit, I run a fairly old low tech PC, I was always a bit jealous of those people who had little pop up helpers, you know the cat, the dog, the robot etc. Well I found my own and it was better, I got a green parrot. It stayed on my screen even when I was not using word. Wow I loved my parrot, I told people all about it, well it was called a bonzi buddy, it was free and guess what it came with free spyware, oh how happy does that make me feel. I eventually got fed up with it and uninstalled it, but the spyware remained. I did not use gator, but I do remember how many people raved on about this free tool that saved you typing in forms. Yep comes complete with free spyware. So does gozilla the program that allows you to resume downloads. How many of you have got or had in the past comet cursor? Yep it has the spies with it, so did audio galaxy, The list is extensive. Other spyware finds its way onto your machine without you downloading it. So what
was I to do. The answer was a complex one, and partly my own idea. First was to download Ad-aware from Lavasoft, next would be to download another browser in case Internet explorer became totally useless in my attempts to remove these nasty programs. I chose netscape navigator as I had never had it on my pc before and my way of thinking was the resident spyware on my pc would not corrupt it. So here I was with both downloaded and I was ready to do my bit of ghost busting. I opened Ad-aware and without reading it too closely I ploughed straight in. Well I found over 500 yes five hundred bits of spyware, so I got rid of the lot in one foul swoop, was I happy. Well ecstatic at how easy it was to use and how it freed my PC. Hmmmmmmmm Well that was until I rebooted my computer and tried to use it. Internet not a hope, Internet explorer no go either, in fact I could do very little. I blamed Ad-aware calling it a few choice names. When I calmed down, I looked at Ad-aware closer, everyone had told me how good it was, the magazines, Internet and friends all praised this program. So maybe it was me. Well of course it was, if I had taken the time to read and use the program properly this would never have happened. So my first word of warning on this program is READ FIRST. I went to the quarantine section and restored all the bits I had chosen to remove. Was I lucky that the program automatically quarantines rather than just deleting them, a further reboot and I had my very slow machine again. This time I uninstalled Kazaa first, then ran a virus scan. So far so good. This time I decided to use Ad-aware slowly. When opened it has various displays, on the left are a series of buttons. Status, this shows the o
pening screen and has details of the last system scan, total objects removed, total Ad-aware scans objects in ignore list and objects quarantined (oh I really do love that bit). It also has details of my Ad-watch status, mine says not loaded. The reason for that is I am using the free download version for personal use, for me to have Ad-watch I would have to upgrade and pay between $26.95 to $49.95 depending on which version I chose. The second button is scan now, this brings up a menu with three options; perform smart system scan (this is the option I choose), Use custom scanning options (too complicated for me), Select drives/folders to scan (I leave this alone as well). Below is a green button that says “activate in-depth scan (recommended) (this again I keep the green button ticked (selected)). The third button is Ad-watch, this brings up a menu for upgrading, as I have not I cannot tell you anymore about that. The fourth button is plug ins, this brings up a screen showing, name creator and description, I have none in my list. The fifth and final button is HELP. I cannot stress strongly enough the relevance of this. It will take you step by step through how to use Ad-aware, having used this I am now able to look at the objects and choose if I want to select it for quarantine, if I want to select all similar objects. I find details of each object, the risk factor, what they do and where they are in my PC. So having run my first scan I selected 160 objects for quarantine. Then made sure my PC worked, that I could connect to the Internet and browse. Before carrying on getting rid of the files a bit at a time. I did have to use netscape navigator to connect at one point, this enabled me to download internet explorer straight over the
top of itself as my version had become so corrupt that even trying to use its own repair and fix did not work. (For those wanting to know, if you try to delete internet explorer using add/remove programs it will offer you the chance to repair itself, well that happens on windows 98). I carried on in this manner until I managed to get rid of all the spyware. I did have a problem getting one file into quarantine, for some strange reason Ad-aware was unable to quarantine it. But as I knew where to look for it (again thanks to Ad-aware) I was able to manually delete it. Yes I did make sure the computer worked before emptying the recycle bin. So how do I feel now, well a bit foolish for allowing these programs to cause me so many problems. Very thankful to Lavasoft for a brilliant program, without Ad-aware I would have had to wipe the hard drive and start from scratch. I have learnt a very painful lesson. I now will always read the agreements before clicking on accept (this will not stop all spyware but will stop a lot), also I will run Ad-aware on a regular basis in the same way I run my anti virus software. This is not the easiest program to use purely because of what it has to do. Having said that following the help section does make it all perfectly clear. The end result is now my old computer is running a lot smoother. Although not perfectly, but that's because I have loads of things on it and I still use a dial up Internet connection. At the end of the day now my computer is running much better
I used to have terrible problems with my pc slowing down from time to time, its not the best mean machine out there but it was getting ridiculous. That’s when I asked one of my more computer gifted friends over MSN messenger (life saver) if he knew the problem, he took a guess at spy software is tracking me and I know have so many on my hard disk that it has become a problem. Spy software what is it? Basically spy software can do a lot from tracking your position on a single web-site, to your whole internet movement, to your PC file transactions. Shock horror what should I do? He advise some free for personnel home use software called “Ad-aware” by “Lavasoft”. It was easy enough to download being part of the “snap files” network, from: ”http://www.snapfiles.com/get/adaware.html” The means no cueing as I have a lot of problems with “File Planet” lately due to such big cues that can reach 3 hours considering my cut off is after 2 hours was not very useful, unless of course you pay but a mild computer user like myself does not want to splash out too much money. Quick download only being 1654 KB, considering an average dial up can transfer at 56 KB a second its not a very long download. Easy self-open and install file puts everything in the right places no fiddling about like some other specialist software. I selected to have a shortcut on my desktop so with just two clicks it was open. I was faced with 5 options: Status: This allows you to check on all the details of the current software that you have plus you can search for upgrades. These upgrades are very frequent but very useful every time I use it; it finds 3 to 12 new spy files on my computer. Upgrade system is very easy to use plus it adds no extra charge on to the system so it is still free just click, wait and use. Scan Now: This is the basic function of th
e software it will scan through your hard disk, or whatever disk you want it to and will find spy files automatically. After it has finished scanning it’ll present you with a whole list of files, shamefully I have 1036 files first time I done it and my system only went in for a “PC World” check about 6 months ago. I selected all the files and quarantined them, I was advise it was best to quarantine before you delete as some files are put there by software and are needed to run your system so I scan everyday and empty my quarantine list every week. If you do accidentally remove a file from your PC it is very easy to get them back because most software will tell you about the missing file name, just ask a friend with the same software to search for it and just put the file back. Ad-watch I do not know what this is and this is a pay only service. Plug-Ins You can plug in other software to use along side this software at the same time. I have not yet to use this system so I would not like to comment but my friend says he runs a virus scanner along side as well. Help Ad-aware comes with a very useful manual that runs in like the Microsoft help system so nothing much new to get used to here. In short I very nice small piece of software to use that is free (which we all like). Its free to personnel home use because we tell them about any problems and they get their money from the big businesses whom pay for the service use. Just be careful when removing files from your computer and enjoy the speeding up of your PC. If you have done all of this and your PC is still very slow, you may need to defragment your computer, go to My Computer right click on the C: drive, then properties, then tools, then defragment your PC just make sure you have nothing running that will interfere because it will need to run on its own for up to 24 hours. © David James Clark
Ad-Aware scans your computer (or only a diskette if you prefer) searching spywares: they are files (or registry keys) that collect information about you (for example websites you visit, name, surname or something else). There are also others that show ads in the program that installed them. Many freeware programs install spywares because they want to earn money displaying banners, collecting your data or using them to analize what website you link, how old are you... With a complete scan Ad-Aware finds all known spywares, then you can choose what you want to delete, but be very careful!! Some programs CAN'T run without their spywares so I suggest you to backup files you are going to delete (Ad-Aware can do it for you). I've used Ad-Aware since "Spyware phenomenon" started to be very discussed, and I'be found it very useful: it has deleted houndreds or spywares or bad registry keys (sometimes I had to uninstall also the program...), because privacy is very important for me. I suggest you to try it with a "Cookies manager" too: a (freeware) program that allows you to manage cookies (you can save ones and delete others) that in some cases collect information about you, like spywares do.
AD-aware is a must have for any pc user, basically this program it's like a virus scanner but instead of virus, it scan your hard disk, memory, windows registry trying to find any possible spyware (spyware is a kind of file who simply access internet and report to advertising company some of your system information), (how is your computer composed, and some personal data, if I recall correctly) no important information like credit card numbers or similar information can be passed by this kind of software. Personally I find this kind of software very annoying, I think is not fair try to stole some of your personal data, and if the program you are about to install tell you that for me it will be ok, but many software simply forget to tell you what are they going to install on your pc. What does this software really do? Simply Ad-aware scan your memory, your windows registry and every files on your Hard Disk and compare them with it?s database, at the end of the scan it?s reported the situation and you can choose what spyware you like to remove from your pc, if you have no "Known" spyware it will give you the message "congratulations no known spyware found", the word known is used because even the makers of this program add every day new kind of spyware produced by advertising company and you cannot be really sure that your pc is free from them. I suggest to use this program every time you install a new software downloaded from the net, and keep in mind that if you remove some of the files needed by a certain program, if the program cease to work is simply because the spyware files are needed by this program (basically because you are using the program freely and the author of the software has added some banner to maintain it's work even if you don?t like to register, instead of you are going to pay the advertising company to have some information freely by your system) so it's up to you decidin
g what to do.
Ad aware is a nifty little program that can be downloaded onto your computer, and when run will check your entire hard disk for ?Spare? references. ***WHAT IS SPY WARE? *** Spyware are files which secretly uses your internet connection to download banner-ads or send various user data to an companies server - with or without knowledge of the you the user. Its completely out of you hand and you may not know it?s even there. These companies build user profiles for statistical data, or they sell it to third parties to do target advertising; there collecting information about your computer usage; I maybe like you don?t like people spying on me, school, go on get get. I don?t like people getting info from my computer, luckily there?s a solution. That is to get ad-aware installed on your computer. Every single information retrieval packages on you computer will be found out and destroyed, just what I like a nice clean system. ***SUMMERY*** The release of such an important piece of software is vital when our computers are being abused in such a way, its our computer, we choice who has access. Its does what it is supposed to do quickly and easlily; if you don't like it just uninstall it, its as simple as that, it's just nice to check whether someones taking info from your computer once and a while. Ad-aware is available from uaualy any pc downloads site including http://www.ad-aware.com (and yes this is the wright link) ; its worth getting, YOU DON?T KNOW WHO?S WHATCHING