There are many utility
programs that are available on the Internet as Freeware or Shareware. Freeware
means that the author of the program has made the program available free
of charge, usually for non-commercial use. Shareware programs are usually
made so that they will work for a specified period of time to allow you
to try them out to verify whether they would be a valuable addition to
your system. The author then expects you to register or pay for the program
if you would like to continue using it.
Most of these programs do what you think they are supposed to do but
there are a lot of programs that also are used to spy on you and your Internet
habits. These are the programs that some people call spyware. One such
suite of programs is Gator/Offer Companion/Trickler/GAIN. This is a program
that is installed with an Active X installer when you arrive at one of
the Gator related Websites. You have to allow the software to be installed
by clicking on the OK button when the Active X component loads.
The Gator eWallet is a part of this bundle of downloaded software. It
is advertised by the company as a program to fill in forms with no typing,
remember passwords automatically, protect and encrypt your data on your
computer. These programs are also used by The Gator Corporation to log
the Web pages that your computer views as well as how much time is spent
at those sites. Here is a part of the privacy statement and end user license
agreement for Gator eWallet version 3.2.
And on top of these facts, I have found that simply uninstalling the
programs with Add/Remove programs will not remove the entire residue of
the program from your system. This is why I like to use a spyware utility
program to scan systems to detect these and many other programs like them
and allow me to remove the entire program from the systems that I am working
on. Many of these programs would not be that big of a deal if they did
not cause such havoc with your computer browser. Problems associated with
these programs interfering with the normal operation of your computer system
can add many hours of heartache to your life.
One of the programs that I use to remove spyware is called Ad-aware.
It is writen by a company called Lavasoft.
According to the company,
From the experience that I have had with the program, all I can say is
that it certainly finds a lot of items on a lot of peopleís computers.
Most of the systems that are experiencing error messages and lockups while
browsing the Internet can have their problems corrected by cleaning their
systems with this program.
|Ad-aware is a free multi spyware removal utility
that scans your memory, registry and hard drives for known spyware and
scumware components and lets you remove them safely.
Another program that I have run across is called Spybot Search &
Destroy. It is written by PepiMK
software. I have just recently discovered this program but I am very
impressed with what I have seen so far. One feature of the program is the
product info section. Here you will be able to look up the spyware programs
and read a description of the program as well as the pertinent information
from the companyís privacy statement. It is going to be a real eye opener
for many of the programs that are being installed on a lot of computers.
There are a lot of free programs available on the Web, some of them
good and some of them bad. Gator is just an example of the many spyware
programs that are out there to keep track of you. The software company
is not doing anything illegal. If you donít have a problem with this type
of activity and you feel you will benefit from using their program, then
you should use it. When the programs that are installed start to cause
the errors that I have seen on many systems, go download one of these removal
utilities and use it. You will definitely see an improvement in your system