I use the following things and never get any popups or spyware or anything,
spybot 1.2 ( note you should not run spybot and adaware at the same time )
popup stopper companion
and kazaa lite
and norton 2004 pro antivirus ( its got spyware detection as well )
if you run all these and make sure they are all updated, there should nothing that could spam you.
and go to add remove programs and remove things like mybar, newnet ect
oh and get rid of the google search bar, and any other bho ( browser help objects ) they all suck, if ya wanna search google just google