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You know spyware has become a bane to society when someone founds an organization to watch the spread of it. From StopBadware, the organization is:

A Neighborhood Watch campaign aimed at fighting badware. We will seek to provide reliable, objective information about downloadable applications in order to help consumers to make better choices about what they download on to their computers. We aim to become a central clearinghouse for research on badware and the bad actors who spread it, and to become a focal point for developing collaborative, community-minded approaches to stopping badware. Harvard Law School’s Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Oxford University’s Oxford Internet Institute are leading this initiative with the support of several prominent tech companies, including Google, Lenovo, and Sun Micro systems. Consumer Reports WebWatch is serving as an unpaid special advisor.

As usual there’s a standard set of recommended tools and applications (e.g Ad-aware, Microsoft AntiSpyware, Pest Patrol, Spy Sweeper, Spyware Doctor) for removing spyware and other malware. Looking over this list, it seems the recommended tools are slightly outdated or won’t do the best job for most of the malware that I encounter at work. Similar to Don’s Top 10 Free Computer Cleaners, I think members of StopBadware need to compile a list of free tools that people can use without worrying about subscription costs or fear that they’re running a tool with outdated definitions.