Recently my children have downloaded a raft of spyware onto my computer. These are programs that track your movements on the web, and pop-up obnoxious ads in your face. Or, in the case of some of the worst of them, they replace your search page with another search engine.
It drives me nuts, and it’s a huge invasion of privacy. I don’t want this stuff. I didn’t opt-in.
Some publishers will argue that my kids did opt-in. True enough. They unwittingly clicked an OK button on a box that was presented before they were allowed to play an online game. The adbot has NOTHING to do with that game. As Steve Gibson at Gibson Research says:
Internet companies, whose apparent “business
model” is the exploitation of consumer trust and
ignorance, are sneaking their spyware systems
into our machines for their own purposes.
The industry needs to GET A CLUE!! The web is not the same as TV.
One of the best tools I know of for getting rid of this detritus is Patrick Kolla’s Spybot Search and Destroy from PepiMK software in Germany. This bit of freeware combs your system for nearly 6000 adbots, and all kinds of other obnoxious pieces of spyware, and then helps you remove it all from your system.