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Spyware on your computer? It's more likely than you think.

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90 percent of Internet-connected computers are infected with some form of spyware.

Spyware has become such a large problem that the United States Congress and many individual states are currently debating laws concerning the control of spyware. If such a problem demands the attention of the nation’s policymakers, isn’t it about time to check your personal computer?

If you surf the Internet, send email, share files, chat with an instant messenger or have ever downloaded a "free" program, chances are high that your system is now infected with spyware. Spyware can be installed on your machine without your knowledge many ways spyware does not announce itself when it joins your computer and can hide in any of the communicative activities you engage in online.

So how do you know if you have spyware? Here are two great spyware audits that you can run on your machine to determine if you have spyware installed. SpyScan and Spyware Scan provide free spyware audits are safe and easy to install. The audits will not add cookies or harm your computer; the programs are designed to scan your system registry and hard drive space for thousands of known spyware programs. These free tools are not spyware blockers or spyware removal tools, but they will tell you if your computer is infected.

Spy Audit - FREE

We recommended Spy Audit from Webroot. The user interface is easy to use and it detected all of the spyware on our machines as well as any cookies. Spy Audit only takes seconds to run.

Spyware Scan - FREE

Another free spyware auditing application is Spyware Scan from Aluria Software. The interface for Spyware Scan isn’t as simple as the one offered by Spy Audit, but it is still fairly easy to use. When we ran the tests on the same infected machine, Spyware Scan did not detect any cookies while Spy Audit did, so we are convinced that Spy Audit offers a more complete scan.

For consistent monitoring of your system, consider installing an anti-spyware system on your computer. Check out more information and side-by-side comparisons of the top spyware removal software.

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