This second-hand computer gets an 'F' for spyware

A free computer isn't always a clean computer. Dialers, adware, and viruses haunt Ashley's sister's new rig, and it's up to her to banish them for good. Catch all the exorcising action in this week's Spyware Horror Story.

Co-owning a computer can be tough, especially if you've got to share time with an Internet-hungry sibling.

That's why Ashley's sister jumps at the offer of a fresh computer for her exclusive use. This means Internet independence for both girls, if the hand-me-down computer passes 14-year-old Ashley's spyware test.

It doesn't. In fact, it fails miserably, so stuffed is it with Trojans, dialers, and worms. Will Ashley be able to disinfect it for her sister, or will she declare the computer a dud? This week's Spyware Horror Story, "My sister's keeper," lays it out from bootup to shutdown.

About Jessica Dolcourt

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.