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Privacy Power!  Home:  Adware, Badware & Spyware Profiles

General Info | Bonzi Software | Comet Cursor | Conducent Timesink | Cydoor | Flyswat | GoHip! | Mattel Brodcast (DSSAgent) | Radiate (Aureate) | Web3000

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:

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 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 and What is "Drug Dealer Ware"? Go ahead, take one little taste... its FREE... from the Counterexploitation website (or enter the full framed site at:

Updated: Aug 28-00

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