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Monday, June 19, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Small office / Home office

Spyware Doctor keeps your PC healthy

Knight Ridder Newspapers

It used to be that the worst thing you could catch from going online was a computer virus. Computer anti-virus products have been around for so long now that it's pretty much standard to have one before venturing out onto the Internet.

But today, there's so much bad stuff out there just waiting to find your poor little computer, having only an anti-virus program is tantamount to venturing out into the Amazonian jungle with just a can of insect repellent.

One of the biggest threats to going online now is identity theft. No longer do they just want to mess with your computer. They want to mess with you personally. And the best way to do that is to steal anything and everything that makes you who you are.

Unfortunately, so much of that personal data can be found on, or accessed through, your personal computer.

Fortunately, there's some very good protection available to you, such as the product from PC Tools Software called Spyware Doctor.

If you had to classify Spyware Doctor, it would be called anti-spyware. Spyware comes in all kinds of shapes and forms, and Spyware Doctor keeps up with the best of them.

Constant updates

As with computer viruses, new types of spyware are constantly being devised, and Spyware Doctor is constantly being updated.

Unlike most anti-spyware products that detect something after you are infected, Spyware Doctor is also a preventive move. It blocks as well as detects and removes all types of spyware.

For example, just browsing on a Web site can infect your computer with spyware. With Spyware Doctor, you will be warned that the Web site you are about to view is trying to install something bad and it will prevent you from being infected right there.

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Spyware Doctor has anti-phishing built in. Ever get one of those e-mails that claims your password on PayPal or eBay is about to expire? It's a thief trying to steal your private information. Spyware Doctor won't let you go to that Web site in the e-mail and will alert you to the impending disaster.

Spyware Doctor is also capable of catching keyloggers. These are little programs that have been surreptitiously planted on your computer.

Their purpose is to capture every keystroke you make. When it gets enough of them, the keylogger will transmit every keystroke you made to the pirate's location, which can be really nasty. But you can feel safe with Spyware Doctor watching every move the bad guys try to make against you.

List keeps growing

If you want a list of just about everything Spyware Doctor protects against, that would be spyware, adware, spyware/Trojans, keyloggers, identity theft, hijackers, tracking threats, rogue anti-spyware, unwanted software, phishing, pop-ups and bad Web sites. The defensive list keeps growing because the list of bad things keeps growing.

Installation of Spyware Doctor is a breeze, and its OnGuard technology only alerts you to a true spyware detection. Most everything Spyware Doctor does happens in the background so that you can continue your work without any interruptions.

You can try Spyware Doctor for 30 days before making the purchase of $29.95, which includes one year of updates and customer support.

You can download Spyware Doctor from the PC Tools Web site (www.pctools.com) or purchase the boxed copy at the same price from its Web site as well as technology stores everywhere. An enterprise version is available for large organizations. For Windows only.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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