Webroot Software has reprinted Walter Mossberg's short essay on fighting spyware. Mossberg provides a good summary of the problem and ways to fight it. One tip is of particular interest:
absolute best way to avoid spyware is to stop using Windows, and switch
to an Apple Macintosh, which gets little or no spyware and adware.
Almost all spyware is written to run on Windows, and it won't work on a
It's possible to write spyware for a Mac, but it's much harder,
because any time a program that might affect system files tries to
install itself on a Mac, the operating system requires you to enter a
user ID and password. That means it's very hard to install anything
surreptitiously or deceptively.