One of the biggest challenges a computer owner can face is getting rid of adware or spyware, programs that can sneak onto your PC when you agree to download free utility software from the Web.
In addition to monitoring your activity on the Internet, adware and spyware can lock you into an unwanted home page and swamp you with pop-up advertisements. Removal can be difficult because the designers of such programs often try to keep them out of sight on your PC. Most don't show up on the "Add/Remove Programs" list in the Windows control panel. They seldom offer an "Uninstall" option in the Windows "Programs" list; in fact, they're seldom listed at all.
Even when you identify them, some adware programs can't be removed directly because they are tied to other unrelated utility programs you may have wanted. If you're a do-it-yourselfer, there are ways to get rid of the programs. The first step: Go to sites such as http://PestPatrol.com or http://WebRoot.com and run a free scan of your computer. They list any adware/spyware they see, but they do not tell you how to remove it.
The site http://PCPitStop.com, has been very aggressive in taking on adware and spyware. And, although it identifies fewer programs than PestPatrol and WebRoot, it does a much better job of explaining how to clean your computer.
News source: Reuters