An overview of antispyware tools

Wednesday, 17 November 2004, 12:39 PM EST

You've almost certainly encountered the ads: A dialog box pops up on your system, bearing the message "Warning! Your computer may be infected with spyware" and suggesting that you scan your computer immediately. Click it, and you often reach a Web site providing a "free spyware scanner" that finds all sorts of malware on your PC--and then offers to sell you software that will clean it all up.

Should you buy these products? Based on our tests, our opinion is no. Following complaints from several PC World readers, we tested seven heavily advertised spyware-removal tools-- MyNetProtector, NoAdware, PAL Spyware Remover, SpyAssault, SpyBlocs, Spyware Stormer, and XoftSpy--and found that none were as effective as reputable free products such as Spybot Search & Destroy. A couple even installed new spyware.˛

By Andrew Brandt at PC World.

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