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The Dow Chemical Company Message Board

  • rhawrela rhawrela Aug 26, 2004 3:44 PM Flag

    Tracking SPYware (OT)

    Hey board,

    As I am in email contact with approximately 100 students in any given semester, I have found the need, through hard experience, to protect my computer with virus checkers. I am well protected in this respect.

    Lately, my provider introduced me to their 'SPYware' protection software. This is software that tells you when someone has logged onto your computer while you are on the internet. They are looking for your personal marketing profile, your credit card numbers, your bank account numbers, your product registration data and all sorts of personal information you might have stored on your hard disc.

    I generally log on each morning, and stay logged as I work on programs and contact my students. When I hit a break, I often log onto Yahoo and check out the market and anything of interest on this message board. Since my introduction to 'SPYware', I am amazed at how many spies there are trying to get data from my hard disc. I encounter 4 to 6 each hour.

    I now log off at each opportunity and I have eliminated any personal information that might allow hunters to gain access to my assests.

    Do any of you have similar experiences?


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    • Rhaw:

      I suggest three things.

      First, get and use ZoneAlarm
      (it's free). This is a great firewall... much better than any purchased firewall I've seen. Certainly better than the recent Microsoft upgrades. ZoneAlarm does tell me that I'm getting a "ping" now and then... maybe twice a day. More on this later... see comments on Gibson Research.

      Second, get AdAware (also free) from Lavasoft. AdAware can remove most spyware. Sometimes I use Spybot to double-check and see if AdWare has done the whole job. When I run AdAware about every two weeks I'm amazed at how much stuff has come in with internet "stuff".

      Finally, go to (Gibson Research Corp) and (among other things) get their Leak Test software. Run it... give it permission to test your system for "leaks". Don't be afraid to let GRC attempt to break through your firewall. They will not damage your computer. Leak Test will test for open ports through which information can flow both in and out of your computer without your knowledge. Browse around in and read what Gibson has to say about PC systems in general. Gibson's comments are worth your time to read and consider. Gibson thinks so highly of ZoneAlarm that he decided to not attempt to produce a firewall because ZoneAlarm is so good that he couldn't see a way to improve on it. Gibson,in my book, is as good as it gets.

      This spyware thing is not amusing. It's dangerous.

      Of course, in addition to this, virus protection (Norton, etc.) is always vital.

      Charlie H.

    • true an adaware will remove alot of that,like I said alot of this stuff is inocuous,No system is going to be pristeen unless you Unplug,or have it wrapped so tight it's a pain in the ass to use

    • Install the free version of Zone Alarm. It will stop unauthorized intrusions from outside and keep track of how many there were.

      It tells me there were 515758 since I installed it, 11479 of which were "high rated".
      68 attempts so far today.

    • When you enhanced your Internet access, did you purge the spies already on your system?

      There are hidden files that some detection software can't find or recognize. I use both "Spybot - Search & Destroy" and "Ad-Aware" hoping they control/corral all of the nasty critters.

      • 1 Reply to squinch42
      • Squinch,

        Couple questions for you about Search and Destroy and Ad Ware.

        I use search and destroy on four computers. The database of spyware files that each checks for varies, with one at 12K, another at 9K, and recently one at 16K. I hit "check for update," on the 9K one, but nothing gets downloaded. Have you run into this problem? (Note: I haven't tried updating a over 10-days, so this may be stale.)

        Second, does the Ad Ware program get spybots that Search and Destroy misses?

        And on cost, I "donated" $10 for S&D. Maybe I'm too generous. How about you? Also, what does AdWare run?


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