Adware, Spyware and Scumware warning!

January 31st, 2004  

Topic: Adware, Spyware and Scumware warning!

I frequently check my server log files, and I have recently discovered more and more so called Adware/Spyware plug-ins on several of my visitors..
(I don't know if any of you have it, I can only see the IP addresses)

First some definitions (My own...)

A lot of shareware and freeware comes with some kind of advertisements to keep it free, this is called Adware.
It could be banners or pop-ups etc...
This is in most cases legal, and a way for the programmer to keep the program free.
But sometimes this the programs includes codes that tracks a user's personal information and passes it on to third parties, without the user's authorization or knowledge. This practice has been dubbed Spyware.
And the worst part of the spyware has also been called Scumware...
This can be programs/code that installs itself when you surf on unsafe websites (porn, cracking/hacking etc....), scripts in e-mails, or it can be hidden in programs you think are innocent (cool small programs sent to you by e-mail etc...)
Some of these scumware can open up your PC (creates backdoors) to hackers, others can install code that directs you to different sites, some creates pop-ups when you surf, or others (that I hate the most....) hijacks ads on websites (like mine) and when you click one of the ads you are redirected to other pages, or to the correct pages, but the author of the scumware gets the payment for any sale.

Ways to discover if you have any spyware or scumware on your computer are if your computer is a bit slower than usual, you get pop-ups when you are not visiting any websites, or on websites that usually don't have pop-ups, or you are suddenly redirected to other websites..
There are several other warning signs too..
Try to do a search for Adware, Spyware or Scumware on if you want to find out more.

But the easiest way to remove/prevent spyware and scumware is to use a spyware removal tool..

I can recommend two great (and free) tools:

Ad-Aware from Lavasoft:
It's easy to use and it finds and removes most adware and spyware, and its free for non-commercial purposes.

One other great tool is Spybot Search and Destroy:
I have just installed this one, it looks very good too.

I think Ad-Aware is a bit easier to use, but you can install and use the both. (to be completely sure..)

But I have one warning when you use this kind of tools.
They can identify harmless "adware" that you have installed on your computer yourself.
One example is the Alexa toolbar (I use it myself).
It does track your surfing habits, and stores what sites you have visited etc..
But this is what it is supposed to do to be of any use.
Some cookies that the tools identifies as adware/spyware are also harmless.
One example here are cookies from commission junction.
They are an internet advertising company, I use them on this site.
They use anonymous user data to create and report the browsing, purchasing and/or lead form completion activities of anonymous users.

Most Cookies are harmless, and you don't need to delete them.

If you haven't used any spyware/adware removal tools before, you should install one of these.
I think you may get a surprise the first time you use them!

Just my thoughts about Adware and Spyware.
Feel free to ask any questions, and I'll try to answer.

(and look at my post count.. Muhahahaha )
January 31st, 2004  

Topic: Spybot Search&Destroy

Spybot Search&Destroy is another good anti scumware,adware, and so on remover.First time i used it i had 50 things on my pc.....
February 2nd, 2004  
I installed Ad-Aware on a friends computer a couple of weeks ago..
found over 200 different items..

And whole lot of those da..ed dialers too...
A dialer is a program that's a bit dangerous to have on your computer if you use a normal phone line or ISDN.
It can dial a completely wrong phone number if you try to connect to the Internet, for example a number in Africa, and you have to pay $10-15 pr minute you are online, without you even knowing it.
(before you get your phone bill....)
Dialers doesn't work if you have broadband...
I've heard about cases here in Norway where the persons got phone bills over $10,000 for one month!!
February 3rd, 2004  
God I tryed downloading one of those things but it never works...
February 3rd, 2004  

Topic: dont trust any spyware-try shareaza

Shareaza is the best P2p program in the world. It can download anything and everything. from movies to songs.
February 3rd, 2004  
Kazaa Lite K++ is the best if you can find it anymore. It blocks the RIAA so you can't get caught. No adds or banners, and IP blocking.

Here Redleg, I'll save you the trouble. I'll go sit myself in the corner for an hour or two.
February 3rd, 2004  
Good!! 8)
February 13th, 2004  
Roger, Noted
March 10th, 2004  
Originally Posted by Redleg
I installed Ad-Aware on a friends computer a couple of weeks ago..
found over 200 different items..
Hehe my dad hadent installed Nortin or Adaware since he upgraded my computer....i had like 100 viruses and like 200 things of spyware
March 10th, 2004  
Nice catch..

It's always wise to scan your computer with ad-aware once in a while..
And a good anti-virus prog is also a very helpfull thing to have..

I get several mails everyday that contains viruses....