Just read on Slashdot that there is an NYTimes article [registration reqd. for reading] that talks about how certain people have developed a new response to the growing problem of Spyware - throw out your PC and buy a new one !! Absolutely outrageous ! By doing this, you don't do anything except indirectly give Microsoft an incentive to not fix this problem. Any new PC you buy will fetch it more profits from the licensing fee of another copy of Windows.
One of the people mentioned in the articles holds a PhD in Computer Science, no less! This is sort of disappointing because rather than actually get at the root cause of their problem, people think that just buying a new computer will solve it ! Of course it would arise again if you do not change your habits.
Let me reiterate a couple things that have been mentioned over and over again in conjunction with the Spyware issue:
1) Do not use Internet Explorer : I cannot stress this enough ! Most exploits are written for IE and you should use Mozilla Firefox - much safer.
2) Change your browsing habits : Do not just blindly click "Yes" or "OK" to any pop-up dialog or window that asks you a question. Try to understand the question that it's asking you. If you do not understand it, then better to be safe and click "No" or "Cancel". Do not click on advertisements or flash banners on websites no matter how enticing their message !
3) Another cannot-stress-enough-er, Do not open email attachments !
BTW, if you do decide to get rid of your PC, please seriously consider getting an Apple Mac Mini or an iMac. The Mac Mini is very affordable (~$500) and will work with your existing keyboard, monitor and mouse. Apple's operating system is based on UNIX and has no spyware problems at all.