It’s called “spyware”. These applications are written by advertising companies. They end up on your PC without your permission or even your knowledge. They turn your web browsing sessions into an irritating series of randomly exploding ad windows that leaves inexperienced users completely dumbfounded. Beyond the visceral emotional reaction, this spyware tracks your behavior and sends that data back to its parent advertising company.

If you are simply tired of seeing the X10 camera ad with its pornographic undertones, then you can fight back. If you are tired of closing windows every two minutes, then you can fight back. If you are outraged that NASDAQ listed companies write software to monitor your behavior and do so without asking or telling, you have an obligation as a red-blooded, freedom-loving American to fight back.

The best software on the market to eliminate pop-up fungus is called Ad Aware by LavaSoft. The company gives the program away for free.

The program does exactly what it says it will do and does it very quickly. The program is relatively small at 8 megabytes so it should download in a tolerable amount of time even by dialup connections. It scans your memory, registry and hard drives in approximately 5 minutes. If any spyware programs are in memory, you will need to reboot and run again for final removal.

On your first run, you’ll be quite amazed at how many advertising companies have setup shop on your computer. 30 distinct programs were revealed on my system. Once they are displayed, click each one and mass delete. Run the program at least once a week and check LavaSoft at least once a month for upgrades.

Understandably, Internet ad agencies don’t like programs like Ad Aware. They are working hard in the Internet arms race of corporations versus personal freedom. As long as there are programmers who care more about privacy than the bottom line of an invasive corporation, unwanted advertising will not survive against education and direct action.

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