US-CERT Cyber Security Tip ST04-016 — Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware


 

US-CERT Cyber Security Tip ST04-016 — Recognizing and Avoiding Spyware

Hey everyone,

     After reading about coordinating your antivirus and anti-spyware programs, I decided to do a post on what is spyware. 

    Spyware is one method that advertisers use to get your attention on the Internet.  I wouldn’t say that it’s the equivalent of commercials, because a lot of your reputable companies wouldn’t resort to this method.  That’s not to say that others aren’t using this method to push those companies ads– just that the companies probably aren’t aware of it.

     One of the things mentioned in the article is be wary of free downloadable software.  I would go so far as to say “Be wary of the add-ons in free downloadable software.”  The majority of free software isn’t bad (and won’t contain spyware).  However some does.  Make sure you read the EULA (End Users License Agreement) carefully.  If the company is a reputable one, they will either include a disclaimer about the adware that their program wants to install, or they will have a separate EULA for the adware.  You should select the “Custom” option when you install it, and uncheck the option to install any adware or add-ons that aren’t directly required by the program (ex.  Toolbars, or search bars).

     My next post will be about “Choosing and Protecting Passwords.”  Have a great weekend everyone.

Patrick.

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