Spyware, adverts etc:

  Sapins 08:43 08 Jul 2004

At the moment I do not have any anti-spyware or AdAware type progammes because I believe they are more trouble than they are worth, so:

Apart from sending some, in my opinion not very important information back to the propagator, what actual harm does Spyware and adverts do? Is it only! an invasion of privacy or can they affect the running of a computer?



  €dstowe 09:09 08 Jul 2004

Spyware is doing what its name suggests - spying on you, noting your habits and reporting back to base. What base does with the information depends on who they are. You may get nothing at all. You may get deluged with adverts, possibly with a vague connection with what has been discovered about you, possibly not. You may get deluged with offers of very undesirable things. You may even get samples of those very undesirable things. You may find that by allowing spyware into your machine you have unwittingly opened it up to "secret" programs that can filch your passwords, credit card numbers and any/all confidential information on your machine. And so on.

As for software protection against spyware/adware, I have never found it to be the least bit troublesome.

  mikef. 09:13 08 Jul 2004

Spyware programs can contain programs called key loggers that send back details to homebase of which keys you press so if you use your computer for any online shopping or banking there are people who can get hold of your details, this is not just being paranoid as there has been a lot of publicity recently about this.And then again there are diallers, and before you say they only come from dodgy sites, not true as they are being hacked on to perfectly normal sites as well these days.

I personally don't see what problems there are using something like spywareblaster which stops almost all of these and you don't even know it's there as it works in the background and the odd use of other programs such as adaware to sweep

  Gaz 25 11:28 08 Jul 2004

Indeed they spy on you...

...but that aint all.

They can slow yuor PC down, loads more malicious scripts, use a percentage of your computers power for their AD serving. And finaly - cause a utter chaos adverts for Porn, viagra, etc popping up left, right and center.

Dialers are also a form of malware - which can dial out on yuor phone line to premium rate numbers.

I dont think spyware software has caused me the slightest bit of trouble.

+ I want as less as possible junk on my PC, ot make it quicker and to protect any data contained - dont want any loopholes to allow hackers in.

Fraid - I am still continuing to protect myself since most people call me to resolve PC problems such as crashes and the like - which I have diagnosed to be CAUSED by spyware.

  €dstowe 13:16 08 Jul 2004

Why do you believe that antispyware programs are more trouble than they're worth?

I've never heard that view before and am very curious as to what prompted it. Have you have bad experiences with one of the very useful protective agents? If you have, it might be in everyone's interest to know about it.

  Sapins 17:44 08 Jul 2004

Hi all,

Having read through your replies I have decided to install some extra protection, see next paragraph.

€dstowe, I know someone who ran a spyware programme and just deleted all the files it found and discovered some files where needed by Windows. I have by the way just finished installing Ad-Aware, which found 11 tracking cookies and one bad registry entry, which I have deleted, I have also installed SpywareBlaster. I have made sure a restore point was made first just in case, and I will take the time to look carefully at any files said to be Spying on me before I delete them, but is it normally ok to just delete any files found by these programmes

I have run this computer for 4 years and not had any problems in this area, 12 "bad" files isn't bad, mind you I do not visit any file sharing or dubious sites, and I have always had an anti-virus programme and a firewall, both Norton,set on automatic update and dialers are not a problem as I am on broadband.



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