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Saturday, November 23, 2002

The spyware who loved me

From the Lessons Learned Department. I used to go running around the web grabbing up free software - everything from games, to downloaders, to html editors, and more. Then one day, someone introduced me to the concept of "spyware," and I was ... well, I was creeped out, to say the least.

I was thinking about this the other day when I was reading something Christine wrote about an incident that happened to Gina. I was reminded again when Team Murder mentioned a particular software I had tried. So, today it seems appropriate that I would stumble across an interesting and informative article on Consumer WebWatch entitled, Free Software May Come at a Personal Price. See also, companion piece, Free Software Is the Lure, Online Surveillance Is the Reality.

Without going into my own ordeal, suffice to say that I still like the free stuff, but now I'm more cautious. I once thought that the popular download sites should put a warning on downloads that contain spyware. But, really, it's up to the consumers to be aware. Now, I'd just like to see some corporate hack or marketing genius defend the use of spyware.

Of course, as Christine mentions, there are other ways spyware can end up on your computer. If you want to see if you're afflicted, check out and download Ad-Aware. Not only can it identify spyware components on your computer, it can also easily eradicate them.

Edit after the fact: I still don't fully understand how trackback works on here. Without even trying, I pinged both Christine's and Gina's respective entries.

Posted by Marie at November 23, 2002 9:23 PM


Don't forget SpyBot. That will find and destroy scum/spyware that Ad-Aware can't find. Like this Aornum that was on my pc, Ad-Aware never detected it.

I've had no problems since I was able to rid the pc of Aornum. So I'm a happy girl once again.

Nice to meet you, btw. :)

Posted by: Gina at November 24, 2002 8:19 AM

I just installed Ad-ware a few days ago and its amazing how many less popups are happening. I had something like 15 different folders with spy ware in them. Can I also download spybot along with adware? They wont conflict will they?

Posted by: Tudy at November 24, 2002 2:04 PM

Hi Gina, Nice to meet you too.

Hi Tudy, I just downloaded and ran SpyBot and it works great. There's no conflict with AdAware. Like Gina said, it picked up some things that AdAware missed.

Posted by: Marie at November 24, 2002 4:46 PM

Ad-Aware is your friend.

Also, re: The pinging, MT 2.51 parses your articles looking for track-back-able urls. Nothin' you did, but totally cool nonetheless.

Posted by: Ben at November 26, 2002 8:28 PM