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: Adware, Badware & Spyware Profiles
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Warning: advpack.dll, amcompat.tlb, and amstream.dll are MS files, not spyware files. Deleting these files can cause serious system problems.
To check the origin of a file: Use "Find" to locate the file; Right-click on the file and choose "Properties", then read the info on the "General" and "Version" tabs. This MS search will provide info on .dll, .exe. and .ocx files: support.microsoft.com/servicedesks/fileversion/dllinfo.asp.
Adware, Badware, & Spyware
There are many different opinions as to what constitutes spyware (many people prefer to call it trojanware). I recommend reading Steve Gibson's seven point Code of Backchannel Conduct grc.com/oo/cbc.htm for a clear definition of software behaviors that denote spyware.
In addition to privacy and security concerns, resource-hogging adware and spyware can cause system and browser instability and slowness. For users paying for dialup services by time used, ad-loading and hidden communications with servers can be costly.
Adware isn't necessarily spyware. Registered shareware without ads may be spyware. Purchased out-of-the-box software may contain adware and may also be spyware. Updates may change a previously ad-free version into an adware product. All this makes for a confusing mess and users need to be on guard when installing any type of software.
Avoid adware. If you're broke and can't buy a clean shareware product, find an ad-free, non-spying equivalent of the program you need. Avoid spyware at all costs. Install a firewall and pay attention to what is asking for permission to connect online. Learn to use a packetsniffer to identify transmissions that sneak through your browser and other trusted apps.
The best advice I can give when it comes to software is to do like the X-Files guy said: "Trust no-one."
Also see The Trouble With Advertising-Supported Software cexx.org/problem.htm and What is "Drug Dealer Ware"? Go ahead, take one little taste... its FREE... cexx.org/drugware.htm from the Counterexploitation website (or enter the full framed site at: cexx.org).
Updated: Aug 28-00
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