I wish. I spent yesterday evening running Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy, CWShredder, HijackThis and finally ETRemover on my in-laws PC in an attempt to remove the annoying popups and extra toolbar known as yupsearch, elitebar, and probably half a different other names, that had magically gotten installed. The whole situation was extremely annoying. Something I would love to see is a website dedicated to fighting spyware. Something that has recent updates to tools and tricks for removing this crap. I spent a lot of time just trying to figure out what kind of stuff was installed and what tool I needed to get rid of it. That of course only fixes the problem after that fact. This got me thinking about what we can do to prevent the problem. I think this is the number one problem that needs to be solved before the Internet gets anymore ubiquitous. In the car ride home I was venting about this, saying that there has to be some technological solution to this problem, when my wife brought up the fact that this sounds very much like the vaccine issue. We make stronger and stronger vaccines and stronger and stronger bugs (biological) spring up. The health industry is finding that it is much better to do preventive work. I can see this being true in the software industry. Every time a smart person thinks up a new technology solution an even smarter person figures out how to subvert it. So, what kind of preventive work can be done to fight spyware? One of the things I need to look into is running windows as a non administrator account. What else though? I think education is a big problem. Right now for a lot of people there is an implicit trust of their computer. If a message box popups saying you've got a virus, click here to remove it a lot of people believe that. They don't stop to think, okay, what application do I have installed that would do that? Does it look like this application is giving me the message? But, they shouldn't have to distrust their PC. They don't distrust their VCR, dishwasher, microwave, cellphone (which might be a problem soon also), or car. Why should they have to distrust the PC? Well, as you can tell I'm not a very good essayist, but I think there are some ideas in here that someone could do much better with. If someone has figured this out please, tell me!