Spyware, Adware. Malware, Greyware – What’s with all the ‘wares?

Posted: August 20, 2006 in computers, software, Windows
Tags: , , ,




For me blog inspiration comes from life and events and recently I spent the better part of a day cleaning up a mess on a few windoze machines. For those of you who are Mac users, you can move along – nothing to see here, unless of course you are wanting to laugh at and poke fun at the problems of our poor windows using cousins, then by all means read on.
A little back story first. I’m a windows user by proximity and necessity, mostly due to the fact that i need to use windows apps for work (my full time job, not my “thatcomputerguy” stuff – which is really just a part-time occupation) and a Mac user by choice. I’d rather be sitting in front of my little iBook working away than tied to a desk with my windows PCs.

The mess i was cleaning up the other day was created mostly by a teenager who said “Yes” when they should have said “No.” (it’s not just for drugs and sex, it also applies to computers) Anyway, removing all the adware and spyware is a bit of chore, but most of the time is spent waiting for a bunch of tools/programs to run and then deleting, removing,restarting a few times. Without turning into an instruction guide on how to remove spyware/adware, let’s just say that you need to get a hold of a few programs, some of which are freely available and others you will need to purchase, but it will be money well spent. My favorites right now are Lavasoft’s AD-AWARE (freeware for personal use), Grisoft’s AVG FREE (also freeware for personal use), Grisoft’s EWIDO anti-spyware (freeware) and Safer-Networking’s SPYBOT SEARCH & DESTROY (freeware). I say doing the job right now because the adware and spyware infections are a constantly evolving thing and the tools needed to eliminate them are ever-changing as well. If these freeware programs are not doing the job for you a very good program that is relatively inexpensive is SPYWAREBOT. This one cleared out the garbage for me last week and it is very easy to use, well written and quick.

So, why is all this happening? That is a question many people are pondering over, but from what i’ve gathered it seems that advertisers and developers actually think that inundating the user with a bunch of ads will somehow get them to purchase their product. Huh?!?! – what are they smoking?!?! Everyone i’ve met that has been stricken with this nasty adware stuff is so sickened and annoyed by it they just want it gone. I honestly don’t think i’ve met a person yet who reads these little popup ads let alone would consider buying anything from them.

Eventually the people creating this pop-ups, adware, spyware, etc. will figure out that it’s not doing anything except slowing down the web and drumming up business for the anit-spyware/anti-adware developers. Unless of course that is who is creating it in the first place. Yikes, now i’m sounding like a conspiracy nut. Gotta lay off the X-files re-runs.



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