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How Spyware Hurts Individuals and Businesses

The Internet community and web masters find it difficult to understand that spyware is not just a hurdle for individual consumers and computer users. Actually spyware can have much widened impact on the Internet and especially affect web businesses since it is capable of switching paid advertisements, altering affiliate links and adding contextual ads on the web sites' viewable pages.

It may be difficult for individuals to assess the extent of harm posed by spyware. Some of the far-reaching negative aspects of spyware are -

Creating more UCE (Unsolicited Commercial E-mails)

When spyware locates e-mail addresses on a system, it is capable of transmitting them back to the Internet where spammers can easily pick and manipulate them for their own use. Spam can trick a user into clicking a link for an advertised product or service during when spyware can stealthily install a malicious code into that system. This is a highly worrisome issue for IT security professionals. Besides, inappropriate or undesirable content may flow into mail client inboxes in the corporate network, which emerge as legal and privacy matters. However, security software products configured in the PC can alert users from clicking harmful hypertext links shown in e-mail, and thus be saved from probable malicious downloads.

Costly affair for organizations

Half of all system crashes are estimated to be due to spyware. Hardware sellers claim that more than 10 percent of all technical support calls relate to spyware and adware. From a scanning survey undertaken by ISP company EarthLink together with security vendor Webroot Software it was found that on an average 28 spyware programs run on a PC with an additional 300,000 programs and these enable hackers to access the computer systems and steal their data. Such spyware and adware problems are spreading far and wide resulting in escalated costs for businesses and individuals that are difficult to quantify.

Introducing potential violations of child protection laws

Spyware and adware generally promote adult products. Its relating problem is with home PCs where all the members of the family including children use the Internet. Since the spyware programs don't care about the age of the end user, the advertisements get across children too. In USA and UK, law prohibits collecting personal data from or about children below age 13 without the written consent of their parent. If any company is found to transmit such data even if unintentionally or through spyware unknowingly installed on the system, the organization will be answerable.

Spyware and adware threats are too serious for businesses to ignore. The best defense is to be constantly aware of the types of spyware floating in the cyberspace, so that proactive measures can be taken to get beyond and defeat them.

Related article: Hi-Tech Security Systems To Counter Sophisticated Hacking

» SPAMfighter News - 25-08-2006

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