Yahoo Offers Anti-Spyware App

Tired of those unwelcome pests that invade your computer without permission? Banish intrusive spyware and tracking cookies with Yahoo’s newly upgraded toolbar.

Called Anti-Spy, the application detects spyware and provides descriptions of what it has found on your computer.

To run the program, click the Anti-Spy icon on the toolbar. You can also optionally check for tracking cookies. The scanning process is fairly rapid — the scan completed in 70 seconds on the computer I tested.

Results show the name of the spyware found, its category, and a recommendation on whether to remove the offending object or not. Recommendations are generic to the category of application (adware, tracking cookie, etc.).

For each spyware app detected, you can click the “remove” button to get rid of it, or the “allow” button if you want to keep it. You’ll want to allow certain cookies that keep login or registration information that you’ve saved; otherwise you’ll have to go through the login process again.

There’s also an option to remove all of the spyware/tracking cookies found during the scan.

If you don’t have a spyware or adware detection program installed, Yahoo’s Anti-Spy is a simple, fairly effective utility that will work for most people. If you download a lot of software, music or other files, or are active on a peer-to-peer network, you’ll probably want to supplement Yahoo’s Anti-Spy with one or more additional programs.

Yahoo hosts an anti-spyware community where you can learn about other programs, and options if you’re having difficulties removing a pernicious pest. There’s also a list of the top five newly identified pests, links to more information about spyware on Yahoo and elsewhere. There are also links to current news stories about spyware, and a discussion board.

The Yahoo Anti-Spy is free, bundled with the Yahoo Companion Toolbar. To take full advantage of all of the features of the toolbar you’ll need to register as a Yahoo user, which is also free.

Requires Windows 98 or higher and Internet Explorer 5.0 or above.

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