Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Protect Yourself from Spyware

Spyware/Adware programs are all over the place. They are used by big business for marketing, criminals to steal personal and financial information, or by "whomever" wants to invade someone's privacy. Most of the programs are legal and easily purchased anywhere, including the internet.

According to SpyCop, " commercial monitoring spyware is being developed with features that can rival the most advanced FBI wiretap tools. An article by Will Sturgeon of sums it up rather well: "Spyware is becoming increasingly pernicious and sophisticated, according to security experts who are warning that users are still failing to take basic steps to protect themselves against the threat." The mass media, along with Internet bloggers, fail to notice the mounting threat that these products now pose. With the rise in cybercrime, including identity theft, phishing and credit card fraud, it's quite surprising that computer users are still at a loss as to how to protect themselves."

SpyCop has an interesting e-book for those, who desire to learn how to protect themselves: It points out that besides Spyware and Adware programs being easily accessible, a lot of so-called programs touted as protection are no better than some of the free programs out there. One of the best free programs is Spybot and can be downloaded at:

Both Spyware and Adware should be illegal, in my opinion. There are too many opportunities for it to be used to victimize people and too many examples of it doing so. Here is an interesting site, which shows legislation and litigation regarding this from the Center for Democracy and Technology:

Of course, I always recommend letting your elected officials know how you feel.

In the United States go to:

In the United Kingdom go to:

If anyone has information for other countries, please feel free to add it on a "comment" to this post.

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