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Spyware overwhelming to some users

Started by Tyler, 2005-01-14T12:20:10-06:00 (Friday)

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I saw this on slashdot, and just couldn't help but comment on it.

Supposedly some users (http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/01/14/1548222&from=rss">story) are so fed up with spyware and malware that they are giving up on the internet.

This hits somewhat close to home.  I normally lie about knowing anything about computers because as soon as somebody knows you know about computers, they want you to fix theirs because it's so slow and full of viruses and spyware.  However, my roommate's computer was totally messed up with spyware that it was totally unusable.  He has a Compaq, and it  came with a restore CD.  He restored it several times, and the spyware never even went away.  I'm not sure exactly what those restore CDs do, but they obviously don't do enough to counter today's spyware.  I ended up low level formatting (via kill disk) his hard drive, and reinstalling windows and office and junk for him.  Now it runs fine, but I think a lot of people have problems like him.

It still baffles me how some people think spyware and popups all the time is normal.  I tell them, "if you leave your computer on and idle and come back and there are popups, then something is wrong", and then their jaw drops.  Same thing applies surfing the net, people don't even know that you can surf without popups (even using IE via google toolbar or something comparible).  People are amazed that you can surf without popups.  I haven't seen a popup in about a year.

I guess I rambled a bit, but I'm sure a lot of you can relate to problems and comments like this.
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005

Michael Kennedy

i love spyware.  it keeps me in business.  i love internet explorer, people without firewalls, people with no means of backing up data, people who don't use windowsupdate.com, people who don't run an updated ativirus application, peoplw who don't run an anti-spyware application, people who dont...

"If it ain't busted, don't fix it" is a very sound principal and remains so despite the fact that I have slavishly ignored it all my life. --Douglas Adams, "Salmon of Doubt"


I don't think Spyware is, at the core, a bad thing. I like getting stuff for "free". Sure I pay a high fee to access the internet, but I can view websites for free. So if seeing a few ads is just my way of paying. The same is true for software, I don't want to shell out the cash so I get annoying ads instead. I sure don't buy anything from ads. I also don't care too much if companies know where I go on the internet.

That said, spyware is out of control. I make my living off of deleting spyware for people. That says a lot. When they are under-handed about installing it...that is totally wrong. People don't read those message that pop-up telling what it does, but at least they have chance of knowing the software's intent.  I am seeing a lot fewer of these messages and bad wording to confuse people. Also the spyware that causes your screen to fill with pop-ups is totally stupid. People get so flooded with them they can't be buying anything.

I want to see some research on whether or not anybody buys anything because of pop-ads/spware.

Geez I guess I have a lot to say about this issue.
Josh Cunningham
"I am a hunter of peace..."--Vash, Trigun......


Ads themselves don't bother me.  I expect to see a certain number of ads when I browse the web.  I realize the economy of it.  I do think, however, that the methods now taken to show those adds are getting more and more out of control.  I don't mind a banner at the top of the page or through a whole news story, but I do mind when they try to hijack my computer.  

I also respectfully disagree with the fact that spyware is a necessity for free software.  Just check out open source stuff from soureforge.net.   You can find almost anything you want free of spyware and adware.
Retired CAOS Officer/Overachiever
SIUE Alumni Class of 2005