Hello everyone, just wanted to post the information I found on spyware/adware and how to protect yourself from spam too. Feel free to add to the list if I missed anything. If a moderator feels this post needs to be moved somewhere else, feel free to move it.

Here's a new article that came out from forbes today:

Internet "spyware" emerges as new online threat

http://news.google.com/url?ntc=0M4C0...tr1335591.html

You could be a victim, this happens not only if you download, but also if you visit sites where a popup occcurs on the main page is mostly likely going to effect you with spyware. Also if you download software,mp3s (kazaa) you will be effected.
this prevents a major advertising issue, Here's several symptoms that occur to your computer which may be effected by spyware/adware.

1. computer is very slow. takes 10 minutes or longer to open any program.

2. popups are you getting popups alot, if you visit a domain that is not active and you get a popup, mostly likely you have been effected.

3. is your Internet Explorer browser opening automatically or is commiting activity within opened applications, like notepad. without you actually moving the mouse.

4. Are you getting error messages saying you are missing files.

5. Do you have programs or folders on your computer that you didn't install on your computer, they just showed up?

6. Have you been locked out of websites, due to password invalid. Spyware (keyloggers) can get your credit card # or personal info.

7. Getting tons of spam??

8. Is familar friends or family sending you attachments such as bat, exe, etc files and you didn't request it? guess what trojans and viruses can send files to everyone in your address book automatically. (especially outlook)

Here's just some samples of symptoms that cause this to occur.

Ways to prevent spam and prevent spyware from being on your computer

1. spam: Put a list of your friends and familys email addresses in notepad as a text file, or save the list to couple CDRWs, do not use a address book.

2. Download a different browser (http://www.mozilla.org or opera.com) to check your email with or surf the web. Id you use mozilla, etc up your email client where you have to use your password to send messages.
3. Also check your computer at least once a week for spyware and adware and keyloggers with the following programs. Download both of the programs as one tracks adware threats and the other tracks spyware

a. Adware: http://www.lavasoftusa.com
b. spyware remover: http://safer-networking.org/

c. Do not download and use spyware nuker it will install a trojan and adware on your pc, and it's a hacked version of spybot which is at http://safer-networking.org (I tested it myself)

Abw members feel free to add to to the list.

4. Disable active x if you use IE.

5. Do a windows update and get Microsoft - Windows XP Service Pack 1 and 2.