Wednesday, March 31, 2004
DIRTY BUSINESS : CONDONED INTERNET PIRACY ?
Maliciously generated computer viruses are traditionally one of the main causes of computers slowing down or crashing completely.
These are usually the creative work of some nasty little "saddo" geeks playing power games in their bedrooms and a few have met their just deserts in the courts, although the sentences they got seemed very, very light in comparison to the cost of the actual damage they cause.
Most internet users now have had the common sense to protect themselves with decent "firewall" programs and anti-spam software, to prevent these viruses , usually sent as E mail attachments, from ever getting into your system.
But what about another form of similarly offensive internet invasion of privacy that is perhaps less well known, eventually clogs up your system and , astonishingly , actually is deliberately used by supposedly reputable companies to obtain/ steal information about you from behind your back.?
I find it incredible that this practice has never been outlawed or thought of in the same way as the malicious infections sent out by virus makers.
Here is an example of what I mean , and unless you have the software to detect these invasions it will download to your PC without you even knowing.
On my on line journal , I have a guest book. "Bravenet", the company that run this facility " free of charge", gives you a coded "html" script that you can post into your Blog template and that enables you to use their guestbook facility on your site. "Bravenet" feature a series of changing pop-up ads in the form of thumbnails at the top of the screen when you log on to the guest book , and I accepted , originally that that is the way the company are able to fund themselves.
Even if I don't actually click on any of the adverts that appear, the advertisers have been licensed by the site owners to infiltrate my PC by , in this case by trying to download "MediaPlex" ad ware, for example . It is one of some 12000 such "spybot" programs that are cynically used to invade PC's throughout the world and gather information for company use without your permission or, so often , without you even knowing.
But , in fact, the "freebie" companies, like "Bravenet" are not just paid to use banner space for their advertisements. It is part of the deal that they contain so called "ad ware", spy computer programs that attach themselves to your system and actually in many cases transmit information about, for example, your internet browsing habits back to the spyware companies using your internet connection. And indeed , it is so often the supposedly free "shareware" programs you innocently download that have these nasty little invasive programs piggy-backed to them and which then make themselves at home in your PC and regularly transmit information about you.
These so called "spybots" also can attach themselves, secretly, to your system when you visit a whole range of visit websites.
What to do ?
You can't see them but they are everywhere waiting on websites to hitch-hike their way into your computer. Get some "spybot" software and then you can be alerted to them and or run regular scans to find and destroy the ones that have got in.
Not only is this practice an affront to decent standards of ethical trading, it also eventually clogs up your system! There are so many of them. Whilst I have a program that I run once a week to destroy these parasites, here's a list that the program intercepted and destroyed for me just today.
And this little lot arrived in the space of a week , so regular purging is important.This practice disgusts me and is an abuse of a wonderful facility, the World Wide Web. I am so glad to have a reliable means to root out erase this stuff from my personal computer space. It gives me immense pleasure to be protected and beat these parasite businesses at their own game, find them and root them out and destroy their nasty spy workers !
Ethical businesses are those that do not use "Spammers" ( Why does the Microsoft spell checker insist on giving these awful people and their dirt a name with a capital letters. Come on Bill " ) or "spybots / adware" and actually I search Google if there is product I want. I have never once responded to an ad that arrived by unsolicited E mail , pop-up adds etcver will and I deeply resent all this abuse of the internet from what I have believe are cynical companies with no ethic at all beyond the "anything for buck "philosophy."
"Spamming" is completely lost on me and a complete and utter waste of time. I wouldn't touch any product advertised in this way ever and nor would any normal person. If I want something, I will search or ask.
Here is the site of a trusted program that you can download without payment that will seek out and destroy these "spy bots."
FREE ANTI-SYPBOT SOFTWARE>SPY BOT FREEBIE
and here is a brief article from the BBC news site that gives more background to this problem BBC Spybot aticle
johncoxon 11:33 PM - [Link] - Comments ()