Spyware is the term for computer software installed on a computer without the user's knowledge for the purpose of monitoring computer activity and Internet browsing. You will know that spyware has been installed if your computer is mysteriously redirected to Web sites and you begin getting a barrage of pop-up ads.

To determine if your computer is running spyware and eliminate it, a number of free programs are available for download off the Internet. Two popular free programs are:

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