Network Associates fights spyware

Friday, 23 January 2004, 9:03 AM EST

On Thursday, the company released McAfee AntiSpyware, a new product designed to automatically and proactively guard consumers against the threat of spyware and adware, programs that allow advertisements to automatically pop up on a computer screen.

Spyware is a broad term often used to describe unwelcome programs that take up residence on a computer's hard drive. They typically appear when computer users download freeware or shareware from the Internet. They also can be passed around through e-mails and peer-to-peer applications such as instant messaging and music file-sharing software.

The programs are designed to keep track of a computer user's online activities and report those results to Web advertisers, which use them to target pop-up advertising. Identity thieves can use the technology to steal personal information.

By Marguerite Reardon at CNET.

[ Read more ]

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