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Spyware is the bane of the computer world. From relatively innocent stuff that just tracks which webpages you visit, or looks up your IP, to more malicious and insidious content that can hijack your computer and turn it into a spambot, or even spyware that can steal your identity and allow criminals access to stuff like your social security number, credit cards, and more, spyware removal programs have become a key part of maintaining your safety and security in the modern world. As one of the main providers of IT support in Aberdeen, my company is heavily involved in helping businesses to protect themselves against malicious cyber-attacks. Here are some simple tips that we recommend you implement to keep your business safe.

It's important to understand that not all spyware removal programs are created equal, and not all spyware removal programs play nice together. If you install Google's AVG, for example, it will conflict greatly with McAfee's ViruScan, and vice versa. One program will read the other as a virus and try to quarantine it, and as a result you'll have two spyware removal programs that don't work. So more isn't necessarily better.

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Of course, there are more lightweight and unwieldy programs that are designed specifically and only to remove spyware. AVG and McAfee are, at their core, anti-virus security programs, not actual spyware removal programs. If you're looking for the latter, there are a myriad of options available for free download on the internet.

My own personal preference is for SpyBot Search and Destroy. I've used it for years on my personal computers and never had a significant problem with spyware as a result. Many online internet security sites rank Spybot as the best free spyware removal programs out there, and literally all of them have it in their top five.

Other options include AdAware's Anniversary Edition, Microsoft's Windows Defender, Webroot Spy Sweeper, and Counter Spy. Each of these programs have their pluses and minuses, and just like with AVG and McAfee, none of these programs is designed to work and play well with others (though they're all easy to use with larger security software programs like AVG and McAfee). So if you decide to choose AdAware, you should stick with that one rather than layering other spyware removal programs on top of it.

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Of course, if your computer is suffering from poor performance and your spyware removal programs don't fix it, then you should take it in to a professional for a looksee and overhaul if necessary. Hackers are always trying to stay a step or three ahead of the spyware removal industry, and there are special viruses designed to specifically fool each and the spyware removal programs listed here. In short, you can never be too careful.