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However, in the real world there are actually at least four or more levels. We could mention encryption, VPNs, authenticated logon, wireless security, and hardware devices, just to name a few. But the most important area for users to be concerned with is Spyware. It is not understood why Microsoft has not include the subject. Spyware is the real detritus of the WEB. Legitimate and illegitimate companies continue to release known Data-mining, over aggressive advertising, Parasites, Scumware, traditional Trojans, Dialers, Malware, Browser Hijackers, Commission Hijackers, Key Loggers, and tracking components.
The basis of the software itself is Fraud. It may be part of a new application you installed, an attachment in your email, or it may have been downloaded at some web site. You would never install it knowingly. Surprisingly, the legal institutions have been too busy litigating with fast food restaurants over spilled hot coffee, and let this slip by. Eventually, embedding Spyware will be considered to be a crime, just like writing viruses and unsolicited spam.
 Spyware is not necessary to create an effective site.
Good Design and Content are.
With the explosion in web web site proliferation, many developers think they have to use Spyware to compete. If you are having a site designed for your company, remember that extreme caution is advised. The honesty and integrity of your company and its image, are worth a lot more, than any profits you would receive from a Spyware infested site.
Many well publicized studies have shown a much higher rate of  Spyware infection, than most people had ever imagined. It is much more likely, (over 80%), that you are infected with Spyware, and not a computer virus. This incredible rate of infection indicates a Fourth Level of Security should be implemented immediately. And that fourth level is to use at least two anti-spyware  applications.
These links will bring you to two popular  FREE anit-spyware programs.
Both companies are trusted Icons in the computer industry.
Spybot -Search and Destroy
Lavasoft Ad-Aware
Personal Edition
Microsoft  has recommended three levels of protect your PC.
Go to
You will see the levels are: 1 Get the latest computer updates,
2 Use a Firewall and
3 Use up to date anti-virus software.
These Steps are the absolute minimum requirements to keep your computer
running well and your data safe.
problems are often avoided by checking these computer fundamentals.
From the
Easy Geek page  
Mar 2002-Dec 2003
First , check your disk space. A Rule of Thumb might be 15% free space, but that is not accurate on the new ultra large drives. Pay more attention to the free space on the O/S partition, it can change with the use of a very large swap file, and the amount of space set for System Recovery.
If You Have Not Performed a Scandisk on the Hard Drive (Win2K & XP) or a Thorough Scandisk (Win9X), Do So As Soon as Possible. Be Sure To Boot to Safe Mode First, so it goes faster (Win9X.) It is not unusual for a complete Scandisk to take a long time, especially on the newer larger hard drives. AFTER you have run Scandisk, run Disk Defragmenter. This will ultimately speed up your computer, even if Scandisk didn’t find problems with your hard drive.
If you use Copy Protected Software, don't let Scandisk repair bad sectors in hidden and system files. Scandisk "repairs" bad sectors by relocating data to good sectors. Some copy protected programs record the absolute physical location of particular hidden or system files. If the program finds the files in a new location, it assumes your software has been illegally copied. To prevent this from happening select the check box labeled "Do not repair bad sectors in hidden and system files," in the Surface Scan Options Dialog Box.
Spyware and Adware Defined
In March 2004, we began warnings that Spyware had become much more prevalent than viruses.
We also tried to  inform Clients that the tools for finding and eliminating Spyware were not as effective as we would like. Many support sources started recommending that people use more than one anti-spyware application. To simplify the situation, the public was being Outgunned by Spyware, and many people didn’t even know it. The advertising industry which was a vector of many infections, tried to make a distinction between what it calls Adware and Spyware, and that Adware is good for you.

Trust Us,  Adware is Spyware.
By using the term Adware, companies could self-righteously dump any malware app on your computer. Key Thief, for example, which is a keylogger that captures and encrypts keystrokes in any application, was classified as an Adware Tracking Tool by some anti-spyware applications. Farsighter, which streams a video of your desktop invisibly in real time, was classified as an Adware Data Tracker. Yes, we actually found these on real clients computers.

It’s Legal, and you gave permission by installing it.
Some Spyware apps actually have an uninstall routine built into Control Panel Add Remove Programs. However, when we have found them, we doubt if they removed anything. Instead they reinstalled everything we removed. More Importantly, there is always some EULA built into the download to cover up the loss of privacy without your consent or knowledge. One way to be reasonably sure it is gone, was to Fdisk your computer, and rebuild the OS from scratch. Although many people did this for security purposes, it was like throwing out the baby with the bath water.

Criminal Intent does not seem to matter.
Several anti-spyware sites that are busy identifying new versions of spyware have been threatened with lawsuits. Its amazing that lawyers would write the letters without considering that there is no remote chance they could win in court. All it would do is prove their client’s guilt. It would prove their software changed home pages, tracks users information, redirected pages, launches pop up/under adds, disables other spyware and anti-spyware apps leaving a computer unable to function. It would also prove their installers download additional spyware while the clients think the are getting updates to a completely unrelated applications, (like MediaPlayer),
From The Security
Geek Page
January 2005
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