Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC?  Don’t fret, just get a Mac

“Though less than a year old, the PC took more than five minutes to start up and never shut down without stalling on error messages. Attempts to Web surf generated at least a half-dozen pop-up ads and — frequently — system freezes,” Matthew Fordahl reports for The Associated Press. “Internet Explorer’s home page was hijacked. Attempts to reach some sites, including eBay, were redirected to random search engines that only called up more ads. Google search results were altered. And the modem, without permission, tried to dial distant lands in search of porn.”

“Welcome to the nasty world of a PC infected with adware, spyware, dialers and their ilk, all of it installed without the knowledge of its owner — my brother-in-law,” Fordahl reports. “No sooner had he spent nearly $1,000 for the Dell Dimension 4600C than he lost control of it to advertisers and porn peddlers. My brother-in-law, bless him, had committed the computing equivalent of running with sharp objects: Installing free software willy-nilly, clicking carelessly on misleading ads or spam and letting relatives (not this one) have free rein during visits.”

Fordahl then details his attempts at cleaning out this Dell box, but found that the “sick PC was hardly cured.”

“With my mixed success, I decided to deploy the biggest weapon in my arsenal. I booted the system using the original Windows installation disk, formatted the hard drive and started from scratch. I installed antivirus software and all of Microsoft’s security patches,” Fordahl reports. “This time, I decided it might be wise to have protection from the start and I chose Spy Sweeper for its simple interface and good defensive shields. Finally, in a fit of stupidity, I downloaded the free version of Kazaa and installed it despite its warnings that it was installing adware.”

“Sure enough, Spy Sweeper warned me and I blocked what it suggested. Still, some Web sites became inaccessible, more pop-up ads appeared and there seemed to be an epic battle between good and evil running in the background of the system. When idle, half of the processor’s resources were being used somewhere, though a restart fixed that problem,” Fordahl reports. “Still, neither Spy Sweeper nor any other software could completely shield me from a really dumb decision. I’ll soon be reinstalling Windows for a third — and hopefully final — time or else tell my brother-in-law to start saving for a Macintosh computer.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: For our Windows-only friends, information about smoothly adding a secure, powerful, and fun Mac OS X machine to your computing arsenal can be found here. When it’s time to get a new PC, get a Mac; invest a little extra time upfront and you’ll save boatloads of time forever after!

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