Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Geek+Spyware*

I want to apologize to you in advance for a word I will use in this blog from time to time, and that word is “geek.”

When I was a boy–many years ago now–“geek” was a completely pejorative and insulting word. A “geek” was typically a socially inept, small, quiet, know-it-all (who usually wore glasses) kid who couldn’t connect his bat with the softest-thrown baseball or catch a football to save his life…and he used big words all the time. Perhaps in your day you referred to ‘him’ as a Pointdexter, nerd, dork, or wimp. Back then there was no doubt or question about it–“geek” was a put-down: a derogatory statement. Period.

Today, I proudly declare: I am a geek. When I do, I am not broadcasting my pride in my inability to catch a football. (I can catch; and, even throw a tight spiral.) I am saying that I’m “into” computers and electronic gadgets, and I know a little about how they work.

At some point and time our common usage of the word “geek” has changed. It is no longer used strictly as a ‘slam’ and a put-down (however, if that is your intent, I believe the other words I listed above are still 100% negative…although Bill Gates may have softened the word “nerd” some…). If, in the course of reading this blog, you see me use the word “geek”–please rest assured that I am always using it with the nicest of meanings. I even use “geek” as a compliment. Really.

Tip of the day: A reader mentioned in a comment to yesterday’s post on defragmention that spyware, if it gets onto and runs on your machine, will cause it to (amongst other unpleasant things!) suffer performance degradation and make it run slower. I intend to spend a fair amount of time discussing malware, and spyware in particular, and how you can combat and remove it. I will return to this topic in the future. But for today I just want to make this point: If you connect to the Web, you need to run anti-spyware programs. Notice I that I wrote programs. Plural.

That fact is, no one anti-spyware application is 100% effective at stopping and removing spyware. There are many anti-spyware programs available and some are more effective than others. Some are great at stopping keylogger’s but fall down when it comes to Trojan Horses, and others are visa-versa…as an example. So I strongly recommend running two anti-spyware’s, in the hopes that one will catch what the other missed. (There are many free anti-spyware applications [and some are adware disguised as anti-spyware, (called “rogue apps“)] available. For my more detailed descriptions and a fuller listing of free anti-spyware tools, click here.) I cannot stress to you strongly enough to install and run some kind of anti-spyware program…and preferably, two. In that vein, today I will provide not one, but two, Today’s free links.

Today’s free link #1: AdAware SE Personal from Lavasoft. “Ad-Aware 2007 Free remains the most popular anti-spyware product for computer users around the world, with nearly one million downloads every week. Our free anti-spyware version provides you with advanced protection against spyware…”

Today’s free link #2: SpyCatcher Express from Tenebril. From site: “Allows novice PC users to remove aggressive spyware . Stops next-generation, mutating spyware. Blocks reinstallation of aggressive spyware. Removes spyware safely and automatically.”

*Original posting 6/13/07

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 2, 2008 Posted by | advice, anti-spyware, computers, how to, Internet, PC, ransomware, rootkits, security, tech, Windows | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments