Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Diego, CA
Bikes: old peugot frankenbike
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A lot of it is what sites you go to, and what you click 'Accept' or 'Yes' or 'OK' to.
I don't really have any preventive anti-spyware utilities working, and I do occasionally use IE to browse (only IRCspy, gmail, and ones that wont work in Opera), but I don't really have any problems.
Some people take it to the extreme with utilities (Raiyn, I'm not using you as an example), but still don't know that clicking 'Yes' to 'Do you want to install blah blah blah so you can see porn, blah blah', is the source of their problems
I work at a PC repair shop, and for spyware, we use a few utilities:
HiJack This, CWShredder, Ad-Aware, and Spybot. I'd say Hijack this is one of the more overlooked ones a lot of times - it's really helpful for getting some things ad-aware or spybot just don't get. It's not very user friendly, and you can disable some things that you shouldn't if you don't know what you're doing.
One of my co-workers uses Spyware Blaster - I haven't tried it yet, might start using it though.