Tagged With spyware

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A bunch of PC games have been caught with a piece of software that tracks your activity even when you're not playing the game. Red Shell, named after a Mario Kart item, is software that's designed for online marketers to track the effectiveness of various online campaigns. But a massive list of games have been found to contain this tool and it can track your activity even when the game is not being played.

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A few years ago, Facebook acquired a VPN app from security software company called Onavo. The app, Onavo Protect, has been sitting there, not doing a whole lot. But now Facebook is on a more concerted push to make Onavo part of your Facebook experience.

If you launch the Facebook app on your smartphone, pop into the settings and scroll down the "Explore "section (you might need to tap on a "Show more" option) you'll find a link to something called Protect. This leads you to an App Store link for Onavo Protect. But it's not just about protecting your data.

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It's been awhile since I've had to deal with a malware-laden PC, but my long streak of luck ran out this weekend when a family friend — who describes himself as computer illiterate — called.

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Computer viruses are increasingly sophisticated and pervasive. If you can't afford to run your computer without some sort of antivirus software installed, check out these five popular options to protect your PC.

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The internet—unfortunately—isn't a never-ending buffet of secure open-source software and Bollywood-style musicals starring LOLCats. There are people and organizations that delight in stealing your personal data, hijacking your computer, and making a general nuisance of themselves through malicious software. This week we're highlighting the top five tools for removing software with ill intentions from you PC.

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Windows only: Avira AntiVir is one of the most popular antivirus applications available, and the latest upgrade to version 9—which adds anti-spyware and anti-adware features to the free version—makes it that much better. Anti-spyware and anti-adware support are nothing new to paid users, but if you've been enjoying the free version of AntiVir, it's always nice to get a few more features. If you've been using Avira up until now, the new download probably won't look all that different, but the new under-the-hood features will obviously be a welcome addition. Head on over to CNET for a more detailed look at the new features. Avira AntiVir is a free download for Windows only; the premium version costs $US26 and throws in email scanning, rescue CD creation, and a few more features.

Avira AntiVir 9

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Windows only: While old faithful Ad-Aware and Spybot are good to have, you can add Spyware Terminator to your arsenal of malware scanner and scrubber tools while you're home for the holidays. Spyware Terminator does just what you'd expect: scan your system for everything from cookies to shady processes, instate "real-time" malware protection, quarantine items, and, ya know, upsell you on the pay-for commercial edition. When I ran Spyware Terminator on my presumably clean system, it turned up a bunch of web site cookies (not life-threatening, but ok) and an invalid entry in my PC's startup. Not bad. Spyware Terminator is free for personal and commercial use, and it's for Windows only. Thanks, jamiemartin01!

Spyware Terminator

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The internet is a glorious and exciting world, but unless you're properly protected with a good antivirus application, it can also be a dangerous one. We've come a long way since the days of Norton, with handfuls of excellent freeware software that can keep your computer safe from malware just as well as their bloated, more expensive counterparts. Earlier this week we asked you to share your favourite antivirus application, and today we're rounding up the five most popular answers. Hit the jump for an overview of the five best antivirus applications.

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Windows only: Ad-Aware, the hard-to-believe-it's-free spyware-cleaning app, has released a beta version that includes full support for Windows Vista and 64-bit platforms. Also included in the upcoming free version is a rootkit removal tool, faster update downloading, and an interface make-over that looks a bit more modern than the blue buttons long-time users are used to. All the ease-of-use and thoroughness that make Ad-Aware's current version part of our Lifehacker Pack of must-have downloads likely apply to this beta, as well. Ad-Aware Beta is a free download, requires a registration and email confirmation to grab. Ad-Aware Beta

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Windows only: Cut through the legalese to the meat of software End User License Agreements (EULA) with freeware application, EULAlyzer. To use it, just run the program whenever you're installing a new software, point it at the licence agreement, and EULAlyzer will analyse and flag the most questionable sections of the agreement. No one really wants (or honestly has the time) to read through every EULA they come across, but quickly popping a EULA into this app could save you the trouble of pop-up ads and other third-party spyware and malware you may not realise you're about to install. We've mentioned this freeware, Windows-only app once before, but having just set up a new Windows partition and installed lots of software, I figured it was worth another look.
EULAlyzer

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Windows only: Lock down your PC and prevent unauthorised executable files from running with freeware application Trust-No-Exe. As the computer's administrator, you can set up a whitelist of clean executable files that you will allow to run and selectively block others. Once installed, Trust-No-Exe adds an entry to your Control Panel, from which you can tweak your whitelist and blacklist. If you're heading home to fix your mum and dad's computer for the seventh consecutive year, you might want to add this to your Thanksgiving rescue kit. It's not foolproof, but it could be a worthwhile deterrent. Trust-No-Exe is freeware, Windows only.

Trust-No-Exe

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Windows XP/2000 only: Software firewall ZoneAlarm is offering free downloads of its basic firewall package with a spyware scanner/cleaner and a year of free updates until 5 p.m. PST today (although you'll get an email with a download link that's valid for a week after that). Program maker Check Point Software claims the free offering is made to coincide with Microsoft's monthly "Patch Tuesday" and the ensuing new vulnerabilities that hackers start working on. Regardless of the piggy-back marketing, ZoneAlarm is an easy-to-use port protector, and a little free spyware protection couldn't hurt either. ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware is a free download for Windows 2000 and XP only.

ZoneAlarm Anti-Spyware