Home Office: A Counterespionage Guide to Spyware
Products mentioned in this article
Feeling paranoid? Well, even if you aren't concerned about a snoopy spouse or a meddling manager, you need to know how these programs work and how to defeat them, if only to spot potential threats to your privacy. I've donned my trench coat and dark glasses to tell you about a few of the tools and strategies I use to watch (and foil) the watchers.
One cure is LavaSoft's AdAware,
a free tool that scans your hard drive and removes these hidden applets. Visit
Keystroke-recording programs are also spyware. An ad for SpectorSoft's $70 EBlaster 2 says it "automatically records everything your spouse, kids, employees, and consultants do online"--in secret, of course. EBlaster will send a snoop e-mail reports of all your Internet activity, including chat room conversations, instant messages, e-mail, and Web site visits.
If your employees spend half their workdays surfing the Web and e-mailing jokes to their friends, spyware may be justifiable. But I'm not on anybody's payroll, so I'm going to pass along a few tricks to help you determine whether snoopware is on your PC.
First, for a quick check on just
what is running on your computer, press
Want to stop something from loading when your PC boots? In Windows 98
and Me, select
Kissco's $20 Invisible Folders is a no-nonsense tool that hides folders
from snoopware and from prying eyes, either when you press a hot-key or
automatically after a set time. Panicware's
I would tell you more, but it's tough to type in this trench coat. I'll
cover spyware blockers in more detail in a future Home Office newsletter, so