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Adware vs spyware--both bad, right?!

Discussion in 'General Security' started by Tom Seeley, Jan 6, 2013.

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  1. Tom Seeley

    Tom Seeley Thread Starter

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    What's the difference between adware and spyware?

    I assume both are bad and I do NOT want either of them on my computer; right?

    Do I need separate programs to remove each of them? If so, which should I use?

    Right now, I'm running Windows 7 home premium, Microsoft Security Essentials' firewall, and Microsoft Security Essentials' virus scanner, but nothing more. What else should I get and use?

    Thx.

    Tom

    ps. I've read the general security cookies and help msgs locked at the top of this forum, and I'm enough of a newbie that I still have the questions I've posted here, so please, help me out.
     
  2. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    You're doing pretty good with MSE already. However, you can download the free version of Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and run periodic scans, depending on your browsing habits.
     
  3. Tom Seeley

    Tom Seeley Thread Starter

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    OK. Thx.

    I'm curious what kind of "browsing habits" might suggest I use belt AND suspenders.

    My typical computer usage is pretty vanilla. Other than Microsoft Office, which doesn't go online as far as I know, I mostly check email with gmail (weaning myself off hotmail); updating stock prices through Fund Manager, which I've got set to use yahoo/finance at the moment; travel message boards and related sites such as Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, TripAdvisor, and Fodors; the usual hotel booking sites and travel sites such as hotels.com, kayak, Delta Airlines, occasionally Expedia; a wide range of financial sites where I have money invested, such as my bank and mutual fund companies; a couple genealogy sites such as Ancestry or the LDS Family Search site; etc. My wife also uses hotmail, Office, and her own set of hobby-related websites (gardening, storytelling, etc.), but she doesn't download videos, music, or pictures, either, as far as I know! :rolleyes:

    I never use things like Facebook or twitter or download music or videos, although I do occasionally listen to a playlist of my favorite classical music on youtube.

    Does any of this put us at extra risk such that using malware.... in addition to MSE would be a good idea? Or can I leave well enough alone?

    Thx.

    T
     
  4. Phantom010

    Phantom010 Trusted Advisor

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    Well, if you're not visiting porn sites, Facebook, downloading torrents or software from questionable origins..., I guess you're not that at risk. However, nothing is ever 100% guarantied on the Web, wherever you go.

    Even legitimate software, especially free one, will bundle up foistware in their packages. You need to be careful with what you agree to when installing software. Avoid toolbars and search engines, or anything else they may be offering.

    WOT is something you may want to consider adding to your browsers. It's free.

    What browser are you using?
     
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