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Sneaky Spyware Becomes Scourge of Internet

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#1 CalamityKen


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Posted 31 October 2004 - 08:52 AM

NEW YORK - Spyware, an amorphous class of software that mostly gets onto computers without their users' knowledge, has become epidemic in the past year as people spend more time online and spyware developers get more aggressive. The resource-hungry programs often render machines unusable.

"It makes spam look like a walk in the park," said Bob Bowman, chief executive of Major League Baseball's Internet unit, which in June started banning new advertisers from using such techniques.


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#2 jgweed


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Posted 31 October 2004 - 07:17 PM

A similar article appearing recently indicates that most spyware is the result of user ignorance (not reading EULAs, just clicking on any download box, etc.). I found one paragraph in the above article which bears this out:

"The most common way to get spyware, including adware, is to download file-sharing software, screensavers and other free programs that rely on revenues from such tagalong programs to cover costs. Spyware developers consider it part of the bargain, though they also depend on users' fascination with freebies."

Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one should be silent.

#3 harrywaldron


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Posted 01 November 2004 - 06:18 AM

To add to John's excellent advice, a few more recommendations:

1. Keep Windows and IE patched and on the latest service packs

2. Ramp up your IE 6 settings (make settings for ACTIVEX from automatic to prompt in your advanced security settings).

3. Consider adding Firefox 1.0PR and Opera 7.54 as additional browsing tools to your environment. They won't conflict with IE and you can use them all at the same time if needed.

4. Run AdAware SE and Spybot S&D regularly, along with your AV scans

5. Never reply to a SPAM email even to opt out - simply line 'em up and delete them

6. Think before you click - keeping in mind the dangers lurking on the Internet. For the most part you can be safe if you stay in good neighborhoods, but you can accidently encounter sites in a web search that may cause issues.

7. A good old fashioned Firewall is also beneficial.

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