This broad category covers the best
programs for dealing with unwanted intrusions onto your hard drive from
pop-ups, spyware/adware, and attempts to penetrate your fire wall.
This program kills pop-ups in
both Explorer and Netscape (I haven't tested it extensively with any others).
but it has a little tray icon that you can toggle if it happens to block
something you want. It is very easy to use and gets the job done...
If you are ever infected with
spyware, this will do its best to clean your system. Personally,
I have still had problems clearing everything. For some reason, some
of the adware that found its way onto my computer was missed by this program.
However, it does remove quite a few unwelcome bits of code, so it is better
than nothing at all.
This is an excellent (and free!)
firewall package that has probably saved me from countless viruses.
I only wish had installed it before the Blaster and/or Welchia32 worms
did a number on my hard drive a while back.
It is easy to use, but I should note that
it does have to go through a brief learning period during which time you
have to tell it which programs to allow access to the internet (e.g., your
web browser(s), email programs, etc.). This is annoying, but it is
an essential step that at least gives you control. You can always
revise these permissions later if you need to.