What does this mean to you?
Do not ever think spyware is a good thing. It would difficult to find anything good about spyware, and if some site attempted to boost it, its likely that they are doing it themselves and wanting you to download their product.
Quote from BlackIce, a popular well known firewall company in reference to spyware, "...software companies have been known to use spyware to gather data about customers. The practice is generally frowned upon."(blackice.iss.net/glossary.php)
Not only will spyware gather personal information from your computer, but it also uses us system resources by the advertising and makes your system more unstable, and can pose possible security risks by opening unnecessary TCP/IP ports. Bottom line, spyware is exactly what its name is, SPYware.
Umm, Thats Scary- how would something like that get on my computer?
The biggest perpetrators of spyware are in the peer to peer file sharing networks, such as Kazaa or Limewire. If you have downloaded programs such as this, it is extremely likely that you indeed have spyware installed on your system.
Their are hundreds and im sure thousands of programs today that have spyware included with them. Again- some links to help you out. Heres a few links that list programs that are known to include spyware:
Safer Networking and also SpyChecker is a very helpful spyware site.
What can I do to protect myself?
If you have visited the sypchecker site above, you have noticed that their are now tools availabe for you to 'scan' your computer for spyware installed. Also, these program do have the ability to remove the spyware on your system.
So their is something that can be done. Its not like this is something that now everyone must deal with because it seems like almost every company that produces software is doing it. Just because they're including spyware, doesnt mean that its right. And I personally would like to have my personal information kept personal, unless I decide otherwise.
So, in conclusion; spyware is obviously a growing problem, however I believe that it can be stopped. Everyone must first become aware of these actions. Protect yourself and others. If you know of a family member or friend that is suffering from symptoms of spyware or even have the slightest suspicion, direct them towards this tutorial or a link provided above. Everyone has the right to know whats going on. Spyware is illegal, do everything you can to spread the knowledge and protection... spyware will come to an end.
Links listed, and others to see:
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