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29 May 2011, Good Evening
Online Slots Guide - CasinoMan

Spyware and Scumware Information


What is scumware?

Scumware, also known as parasiteware or spyware, is software that users unknowingly download when it piggybacks with another program that you're intentionally downloading. Some examples of the programs that contain the hidden spyware are Gator, Bonzi, Kazaa, Morpheus, - for a full listing see Spyware . Gator is so invasive that even after you remove the program it will leave a file designed to "trickle" down Gator files back onto your computer, so that within a few days you'll have the full Gator program back on your computer, even though you've removed it.

How does it affect you, the internet user?

Most of the scumware/parasiteware/spyware products are installed on your computer by companies that want to track your internet usage and use that information. The software watches and records where you go on the internet and transmits your personal data back to those companies for advertising purposes. Once they know what it is you like, they start serving popup ads to you, tailored to fit your usage.

This is often done without you as the user knowing, or even being aware that the software has been installed on your computer!

How you can help!

1. Become "Spyware Savvy" and rid yourself of spyware. You can click here to see if you have any spyware or adware on your computer. There are a couple of free programs you can download that will scan your computer for you and eliminate adware programs;
- AdAware - a very popular and easy to use program, but has problems detecting and removing a couple of scumware programs. In most cases, this alone will be enough for you, but if not.....
- Spybot - is a newer and very good program that seems to be detecting some of the newer spyware programs better.

2. Replace parasite-ridden programs that you use with other, non-parasitic, programs;
- Roboform - Replaces Gator; free, fills in forms for you, does auto-logins for you and keeps a list, and does NOT carry any scumware with it. A wonderful program I use myself.
- Diet Kazaa - Replaces Kazaa (regular), Morpeus, and any music-sharing programs, and has no apparent scumware downloaded with it like the others do.

Other Spyware Definitions

ParasiteWare is the term for any Adware that by default overwrites certain affiliate tracking links. These tracking links are used by webmasters to sell products and to help fund websites. The controversy is centered on companies like WhenU, eBates, and Top Moxie, a popular maker of Adware applications. These companies have release their software to assist users in getting credit for rebates, cash back shopping, or contributions to funds. To the end user ParasiteWare represents little in the way of a security threat.

Adware, also known as an Adbot, can do a number of things from profile your online surfing and spending habits to popping up annoying ad windows as you surf. In some cases Adware has been bundled (i.e. peer-to-peer file swapping products) with other software without the user's knowledge or slipped in the fine print of a EULA (End User License Agreement). Not all Adware is bad, but often users are annoyed by adware's intrusive behavior. Keep in mind that by removing Adware sometimes the program it came bundled with for free may stop functioning. Some Adware, dubbed a "BackDoor Santa" may not perform any activity other then profile a user's surfing activity for study.

AdWare can be obnoxious in that it performs "drive-by downloads". Drive-by downloads are accomplished by providing a misleading dialogue box or other methods of stealth installation. Many times users have no idea they have installed the application. Often Adware makers make their application difficult to uninstall.

A "EULA" or End User License Agreement is the agreement you accept when you click "OK" or "Continue" when you are installing software. Many users never bother to read the EULA.

It is imperative to actually read this agreement before you install any software. No matter how tedious the EULA, you should be able to find out the intent BEFORE you install the software. If you have questions about the EULA- e-mail the company and ask them for clarification.

Spyware is potentially more dangerous beast than Adware because it can record your keystrokes, history, passwords, and other
confidential and private information. Spyware is often sold as a spouse monitor, child monitor, a surveillance tool or simply as a tool to spy on users to gain unauthorized access. Spyware is also known as: snoopware, PC surveillance, key logger, system recorders, Parental control software, PC recorder, Detective software and Internet monitoring software.

Spyware covertly gathers user information and activity without the user's knowledge. Spy software can record your keystrokes as you type them, passwords, credit card numbers, sensitive information, where you surf, chat logs, and can even take random screenshots of your activity. Basically whatever you do on the computer is completely viewable by the spy. You do not have to be connected to the Internet to be spied upon.

The latest permutations of Spyware include the use of routines to mail out user activity via e-mail or posting information to the web where the spy can view it at their leisure. Also many spyware vendors use "stealth routines" and "polymorphic" (meaning to change" techniques to avoid detection and removal by popular anti-spy software. In some cases Spyware vendors have went as far as to counter-attack anti-spy packages by attempting to break their use. In addition they may use routines to re-install the spyware application after it has been detected.

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