Spyware, Meet Blair. Blair, Meet Spyware

It’s a tale of two PC’s.My new system is pretty sweet, although I definitely need to upgrade the monitor and the video card. I’m using an old triniton CRT monitor which is doing well if taking up a lot of space. I want a 19″ LCD, but that’s just me. As for the card, I could the minimum they were offering, a Radeon 300XT, which isn’t bad although I haven’t really tried to tap it out. I want to get an nVidia GeForce 5200 or better, though – so I can try to keep up with my son.

Speaking of which, the kid came this close to getting himself squashed by his mother yesterday. After installing some new RAM for him (we put him up to 1GB), she restarted his computer – and was immediately assualted by 110 different pop-ups, programs, etc. She was miffed, to be bland about it, until she ran an Adaware and Norton Anti-virus scan. The tally – over 1,000! various programs that were classified as adware or worse.

I’m extremely anal about my system, making sure that I don’t download all sorts of ‘neat’ programs because I just know that they are laden with spyware, adware and even malware. We all have Norton Internet Security 2004 on our systems to prevent attacks, but it seems that the boy has either a) turned it off at times or b) been slack in getting updates. Considering some of the spamware has been fixed since May by Norton, I’m assuming a combination. Of course, he claims that he doesn’t know how it got onto his computer, but the 20+ programs we found on his system kind of answer that.

The worst part – I don’t think he really knows how much danger he has put the rest of us in. Since we are a home LAN, anything he gets could potentially get to our systems, although the NIS2004 should catch most of it on our machines. Still, it kind of peeves me that he was so laissez faire about it when he mom was about to blow a gasket. So, last night we spent 4 hours trying (semi-successfully) to clean his system. It will take another few hours today to get all of the crap purged – and he had the gall to blow up because we wouldn’t let him use the computer last night when he got home. C’mon, kid – you aren’t that naive – help us out, okay?

Anyone have any suggestions of a really good Spyware program that we can install? Like I said, he has NIS2004 installed (AND updated), and we just installed the latest version of adaware. But I want to make sure that we prevent him from doing this again. We’ve tried the abstinence talk, but I doubt it will take hold – I want to therefore innoculate the best that I can…

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