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I Spy Spyware Everywhere

Welcome to Accidental IT, a series of technical how-tos for people whose job descriptions don't necessarily include tech support but who often find themselves doing just that for their co-workers.

Every day in your workplace, the curses get louder. Unwanted pop-up ads, slow computers, PCs that crash all the time. Despite the network firewall and the anti-virus software installed on the server and every computer, your office is infested with spyware.

You've read the news stories. You know that spyware is not only annoying, it's dangerous. It's certainly affecting productivity, and it could also be recording the keystrokes of everyone in your office right now, discovering logins, passwords, company secrets. Long story short, you need to get rid of it. Now.

Diagnosis

Most of us have come to believe that as long as we keep our anti-virus libraries up to date, our PC population is fairly safe, but obviously the old protections aren't adequate against spyware. Once you start to investigate an infection, the first step is to try to discover just what's crept into the affected computers.

If you're running Windows 2000 or XP, a quick way to do this is to see what processes are running, particularly if the computer you're investigating seems to be running all too slowly.

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