I hope this is the right site for these questions. That said, I'd greatly appreciate your input regarding a bit of spyware confusion that remain open issues to the less experienced.....at least those at my house to be sure
On the IL forum board, I've read a few notes written by Luckyboy who has often discussed several options for internet security overall, and as I understand it, with spyware being a separate issue for the most part. A recent article "Try Not To Be A Bunch Of Schmucks" on 03-13-04 is just outstanding, but for me, has left a few open questions.
In the article Luckyboy expressed his experience with Norton and identified it as a wonderful tool in many regards. Personally, I fully agree. I have it as well and also think it's terrific.
In another response from Luckyboy, (I don't rememeber which) and also on the "callingelvis911" site, he explains that most of the "Free" downloads are not really free, and are often one of the biggest sources contributing to the spyware problem. He also advises us to read the fine print before downloading any of them to avoid actually agreeing to the process unwittingly. Bottom line, he states that nothing is "Free" and to be careful. Great advise and I understand all of it up to this point.
Here's where I'm a bit lost. On the "callingelvis911" site, the article there (another excellent piece) discusses Ad-Aware, Spybot, and PestPatrol. After reading this, my conclusion was that "PestPatrol" is the better program to use to catch the balance of unwanted stuff not caught by Norton. (At least at the time it was written....I didn't see a date, but I'm assuming it's pretty recent.)
Yet, in the IL post on 03-13-04, Luckyboy discusses a potential problem his supervisor is having which he believes may be caused by spyware. He suggests to his superior to download Ad-Aware and Spybot, which (if I understood correctly) was identified on "callingelvis911" as fairly effective, but not so hot in the sense that they too contain spyware.
That's the conflict.
Was the suggestion to the superior to use Ad-Aware and Spybot perhaps because they're free or low cost to obtain, or simply less problematic spyware removal programs than others out there? ...even though they themselves contain spyware?
After reading the "callingelvis911" info, I would have thought he would have recommended PestPatrol with Norton. Until reading the IL post on 03-13-04, I was under the impression that Norton and PestPatrol are pretty much all that is (currently) needed to take a solid bite out of the spyware problem without adding (somewhat)to the problem through the use of Ad-Aware and Spybot.......
I fully realize that nothing is perfect and his articles are simply sharing what he has found to be effective tools. (Geez, without his and others articles, I would not have been aware of several problems and remedies available on a wide variety of topics.)
I don't know if others are seeking a better understanding of this as well, but my guess is that I'm probably not alone. Whatever light you can shed to help clear up some of the confusion between PestPatrol, Ad-Aware, Spybot, et.al. is, of course, greatly appreciated.
Lastly and most importantly, thank you all very much for the continued help and support in so many, many ways.