After several months of testing, Yahoo has released an enhanced version of its Internet-services toolbar that now comes with a feature for removing often unwanted software such as spyware and adware.After several months of testing,\u00a0Yahoo\u00a0has released an enhanced version of its Internet-services toolbar that now comes with a feature for removing often unwanted software such as spyware and adware.As users surf the Web, these types of programs are often downloaded automatically to their machines without their consent and knowledge and perform unwanted actions, such as tracking users' Web usage and launching pop-up ads."This is a problem that continues to grow," said Charlene Li, a Forrester Research analyst. Toolbars such as this one were originally created to let people block pop-up ads, so adding the ability to scan for spyware software and remove it is a logical enhancement, she said. "People want security and protection," Li said.When it was first introduced in May, Yahoo's enhanced toolbar was criticized because it didn't by default scan for adware, instead leaving it up to users to instruct the program to do so by choosing this as an option. That is no longer the case with the version released this week, which by default scans for adware, as well as spyware and other types of similarly intrusive and stealthy software, such as tracking cookies.Although some people consider spyware and adware as equally noxious, others maintain that by definition spyware programs are more intrusive and dangerous than adware. In its toolbar's Help documentation, Yahoo defines spyware as programs that "can track how you use your computer or surf online without your permission" and adware as software that "presents popup\/popunder ads."After scanning for this type of software, the Yahoo toolbar lists the programs it found, categorizes them, provides information on them and gives recommendations on which ones are potentially malicious and harmful and should definitely be removed, and which ones should be further evaluated. The scanning software is provided through a partnership with Pest Patrol.The enhanced Yahoo toolbar with the Pest Patrol software can be\u00a0downloaded for free. The toolbar's existing features include a search engine box, a button for blocking pop-up ads and shortcuts to a variety of Yahoo Internet services such as e-mail, calendar, notepad, games and the Launch online music section of Yahoo's portal.Most major providers of general-interest Internet services offer a toolbar, including Google, Lycos and Microsoft's MSN. Once installed, toolbars provide a big incentive for using the services of the toolbar provider, Li said. "Toolbars are big loyalty generators," she said.For example, a user who wants to conduct a Web search and who has a toolbar can fire off a query from the toolbar without having to navigate to a search engine page. A similar thing happens for other Internet services included in the toolbar.