Are you being watched online?

Friday, 14 November 2003, 12:39 PM EST

KNTV and examined online infidelity and found Internet temptation is quietly on the rise. It turns out, so is the prevalence of spy software designed to catch a cheating lover.

Virtually anyone with an e-mail inbox knows about the software, which is being aggressively hawked by spammers. Programs with names like “Email P.I.,” selling for as little as $50, promise to let a buyer peek over the shoulder of anyone, anywhere on the Internet, while he or she sits at the computer. Another such program, named “Internet Spy 2003,” says in its e-mail pitch “Investigate anybody-anytime!!”

“Utilize these powerful Internet resources to locate people, run business investigations, find legal information, contact long lost friends or just snoop around,” says a Web site advertising the software. “Internet Spy is an amazing tool that will help you find just about anything about anyone. You can use it in the privacy of your own home without anyone ever knowing, ... Don’t hire a private investigator. Do it yourself with Internet Spy.”

Most spyware is simple. It digitally stores copies of everything that’s typed on a computer. Then, the information can be secretly e-mailed to the amateur spy at regular intervals.

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