To use Zonealarm as an example, the firewall monitors all attempts to access the Internet from inside the computer, and pops up a request for permission to access the Internet for each application.
Once you ok it, that particular application will be
allowed access permanently. This is a great tool for making you aware of what is
going on inside your computer. Zonealarm is available from www.zonealarm.com
Combating spyware in Windows XP Service Pack 2
Microsoft’s recently released Service Pack 2 for Windows XP turns up the
level of security considerably. Most significant, at least for the scope
of this article, are the improvements that have been made to Internet
IE has gained two major features that make avoiding spyware much
easier. First and foremost, the browser now blocks and suppresses pop-up
ads and unsolicited download prompts and activeX controls. An information
bar under the address bar pops down to inform you if a pop-up or other control
has been blocked, and gives you the option to override if you wish.
This is a fantastic feature, which does much to defuse the annoyance of the
endless ad popups spawned by certain types of ad-ware. It also makes
installing spyware accidentally much harder, as no more will you see those
pop-up windows asking you whether you wish to install this or that onto your
The second helpful feature is an application that lets you view all the
add-ons and plug-ins that have been added to Internet Explorer. In a
similar fashion to Hijackthis, you can now view a list of items that have been
added to IE or changed, and disable them at will. This provides you with a
means to effectively combat browser hijackers and browser parasites right from
IE itself. To access this feature once you have upgraded, open IE and go
to ‘tools\manage add ons…’
Also improved in Service Pack 2, though unrelated to Internet Explorer, is
Microsoft’s decision to activate the Windows XP firewall by default.
For a more detailed examination of the features of XP Service Pack 2, see
PCSTATS review here.
If you are having difficulties with some form of spyware but can't get it resolved through any of the suggested methods, there are several sites and forums that contain helpful information to aid you in ridding yourself of the pest.
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