I spent most of Sunday deleting spyware from my PC. It's disturbing to think how much was on there tracing our every move on the web, very creepy in fact. Most disturbing of all was the wild tangent program, which sat bold as brass in the programs menu masquerading as games software. I naturally assumed someone in my house had downloaded it to assist with the playing of some online game. But lo and behold it was spyware, and one of the nastier ones at that.
I only discovered all this because some how spyware from the bullseye network had installed itself on my PC and this meant that every time a page was opened in IE bullseye would open a new IE window to its home page or an advert. This got very annoying very quickly and slowed things down immensely.
It was while trawling the net to discover what bullseye was and how I could get rid of it that I discovered the Spyhunter shareware program. God bless the creators for this handy little tool which searches your hard drive and roots out all spyware (and highlights dangerous cookies - no not the damp moldy one at the bottom of the biscuit tin.) Did you know that the double-click cookie actually gathers personally identifiable info and passes it back to its server or that the bulls eye network program can (and will) initiate a connection to the internet to download updated to it’s program from it’s home server.
Luckily for me all the spyware I discovered on my PC was easy enough to delete as bullseye and wild tangent actually have uninstallers built in (probably to avoid being sued). And I found some great info on some tech message boards telling me how to eradicate them completely by purging their remnants from the registries.
Now all I have to do is train my entire household to delete their cookies at the end of every session and remember to run Spyhunter once a week.
Spyware if fucking evil and more people need to be made aware of it. I think all anti-virus software should come bundled with some kind of anti spyware software.