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February 03, 2005

Spyware Information

iMediaConnection posts a story today about how BURST! Media, Inc. ran a banner in late 2004 intended to educate consumers about spyware.  The banner linked to an informational page which has some pretty good general information about spyware. I've posted the bulk of that information below:

Spyware Information & Resources

Many Internet users have at some point or another had to deal with an Internet experience compromised by excessively intrusive advertising, often in the form of pop ups or pop unders. After some preliminary research, most users in this scenario find that they have spyware or adware on their computers.

Spyware vs. Adware

The terms spyware and adware are often used interchangeably (including points within this article), because their impact on an Internet user can be similar. Both adware and spyware deliver ads based on observed browsing behavior. However, these terms are not synonyms. The primary difference between adware and spyware is that adware is permission based. Adware is most often downloaded after the user decides that the benefits of the program or software justify the increased advertising.

Spyware differs from adware in that the end user is often unaware that the program even resides on their computer. Spyware programs can download directly from websites (depending on browser security settings), or are deceptively packaged with other programs that were downloaded voluntarily. Spyware is different from adware in that it is designed to be difficult to find and uninstall.

Depending on the specific type of software that you have downloaded, it may deliver advertisements that are not associated with the websites you are visiting, collect information about you without your knowledge, change your browser settings, and make using your computer and the Internet difficult. Some individuals whose computers are infected with spyware find it almost impossible to use their computer regularly until the software is removed.

The increasing amount of spyware around, is an important issue to web users. Spyware violates the traditional advertising agreement between visitors and content providers. Visitors read content for free and the publisher is paid by displaying a reasonable amount of advertising. Spyware delivers ads to visitors without providing anything in return. Spyware gives Internet users a negative experience, a negative view of the websites they visit, and a negative view of Internet advertising in general. As an advertising representative of 2,000 quality websites, BURST! is committed to helping web users reach the content they really care about as easily as possible.   From BURST!

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February 3, 2005 in Spyware | Permalink

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