Friday, April 6, 2007

Friday Freebie - Spies Like Them

For one day only here at the Atomic Playground, we're running a Friday Freebie special - two for the price of none. That's right, we're giving you a 2-fer, just like at Ruby Tuesday. But if you're getting buzzed off of this, you're either doing something really wrong, or really right.

This week's freebie picks up where last week's left off, with computer security. You may think that virus protection is all you need to keep you safe while trolling the interwebs, but I got news for ya pal - there are spies out there, lurking in the shadows, just waiting for you to make the wrong move. And when you do, they'll be all up in your grill. Yes, I'm talking spyware. The fact is, even if you play it safe, you're still at risk. So here are two tools to help you evade the spies and keep you flying under the radar. First up is Ad-Aware:

This one is probably the best known spyware killer, and it works great. It offers intelligent scanning and full on-demand system scanning. There are new definition updates available all the time, and the automatic spyware removal is quick and painless. Plus, it's got a slick looking interface. For the casual user, it's easy to fire up and start scanning. But for the advanced nerd, there are plenty of options to tweak out your scanning preferences.

But that's not the only game in town. Next up is Spybot - Search & Destroy:

While perhaps not as widely known, this scanner has a large following. It's great at tracking down that pesky spyware and adware that's hiding deep in the recesses of your registry. It too offers frequent updates and automatic removal of the bad stuff, so usage is a snap.

So which one of the above should you get? Both. And I'm not saying that just because they're free, although that is a pretty good reason. The fact is, while each of them does an excellent job, they each do their jobs a little differently. So what one scanner may miss, the other will catch. By using both, you're getting some damn good protection. One item to mention though - neither of these scanners will protect you in real time. They're both "after the fact" scanners, meaning they'll remove spyware and adware that has already infected your machine. So, don't go clicking on anything just because you've got these guys installed. That's just asking for trouble.

You can check out Ad-Aware here, and download it here. And Spybot can be seen here, and downloaded here. And for those of you internet vets complaining that you already have this stuff, and want a different freebie, tough. We've got to help the noobs out from time to time too.

No comments: