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Windows Vista Security: Praxisorientierte Sicherheit für Profis by Marcus Nasarek

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Chapter 15: Protecting Your Computer with Windows Defender and Windows Firewall
known that the software was pilfering data from the computer on which it was
installed. Kazaa then proceeded to create a new, “lite” version of the product with-
out the spyware attached. Of course, most of these programs have fallen under attack
by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the battle against music
theft and user rights, and they do not have the same user base as they once did.
Not all spyware comes packaged in the cloak-and-dagger style. Another prolific spy-
ware program, named Bonsai Buddy, advertised itself as a companion for children
while they surf the Web. It even claimed to allow product price comparisons for the
user. What the user did not understand when he loaded the program was that it was
spying on his very usage of the computer. It goes to show that you need to take the
time to research the programs asking for your approval before you install them on
your computer.
You are the main line of defense against spyware and other malicious programs tar-
geting your computer. Take the time to consider what you are installing, and block
your children’s ability to install programs onto computers. Some spyware applica-
tions come packed with freeware utilities or even games. This makes children a
prime target for the installation of programs that may undermine the stability of the
computer or that may allow someone to steal your private data.
Introducing Antispyware Programs
Antispyware falls into the same category as antimalware does. Before the prolifera-
tion of this type of code across the Internet, a distinction was made between the two
types of programs. However, in recent years, these antispyware and antimalware pro-
grams have morphed into the same program. Usually you can eliminate spyware
using freeware antimalware tools or antivirus scanners. Some specialty tools list
themselves as spyware removal tools, but they also help eradicate malware.
It may be more accurate to call spyware adware or nuisance software. While some of
these offending programs do actually send user data across the Web, they usually do
not have a malicious intent against the user. They typically use the data to advertise
goods or services to the user by scanning the user’s computer for patterns of behav-
ior on browser use. Windows Defender, which is included with Windows Vista, will
find most types of spyware programs on your computer.
For many in the industry, spyware programs were both a wake-up call and the pro-
verbial straw that broke the camel’s back. Many companies in the security business
underestimated the threat posed by spyware and were not ready to combat the
unique problems it created. This left many people running McAfee, Norton, and
other security products without real protection against spyware, until recently. Not
only did this leave many longtime users of these security products outraged, but it

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