Friday, August 06, 2004

adware sucks

I have been having quite an introduction to computing and internetting at home lately. I realize that there's alot of crap out there that is both invisible and harmful to my computer. Now, more than ever I see the need for a firewall and other mysterious utilities that I've never heard of before these last few days. My computer started out as this incredibly fast machine that downloaded web pages unbelievably fast, thanks to the cable modem. It started bogging down, taking more time to download mp3s and web pages. Heck some of my web pages wouldn't even pop up completely.

My friends said "Spyware!"

I said "Huh?"

I looked up "spyware" on the net. WOW! Some people are so intelligent that they have found a way to track where I go, what I do and when I do it. And they're not even anywhere near my room. I'm not sure that it's illegal, but it is a very orwellian concept. Big brother with a blue light sitting next to my desk.

I downloaded a bunch of different programs to combat this new evil. All of them say things like "free download." Right! Finally I called my ISP (oh yeah I learned a new word in the process,) and they recommended a specific program from their web site (free to me of course since I spend a cajillion dollars to have the internet at home.) I downloaded it, installed it and ran this program. (After rebooting of course.)

Apparently I have visited a multitude of sites that really want to know what kind of shopping I do. I had over 60 adware/spyware programs on my computer. 60! Sixty!!! That's like having 60 people looking over your shoulder at all times. I should either feel honored or frightened. I feel neither. I feel violated. I feel like my computer has been watching me while I watch it.

Scary technology, this spyware/adware. Scary programmers that feel like they have a right to invade your privacy. I'm not a big fan of those who would spy, those that would not just glance over your shoulder but those that would stare, logging your keystrokes, logging your every move to their own advantage.

I have a firewall now. And I have a spyware/adware catcher. If only computing was like life and you could just glare at the programs and say "What are you looking at?" it could all be simple. But that's not the way it is, is it?

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