Spyware refers to programs that are installed on your computer without your knowledge from viruses or by downloading programs from the Internet. Spyware can track your online activities, take control of your browser, push you to deceptive Web sites, make advertisements appear, and cause your computer to misbehave in unexpected ways.
The U.S. government is taking action against spyware. The House recently passed a bill outlawing it, and a similar bill is pending in the Senate. Also, the Federal Trade Commission has filed suit against one company, claiming that it was responsible for spreading spyware.
You can take your own action against spyware. Here are three free tools that will delete it from your computer. After installing, run them once a week.
For more information about spyware, go to the FTC web site and click on Spyware Tips.