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 Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Spyware 
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Post Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Spyware
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Spyware
by: Doug Woodall

John Locke said that "no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions",Yet as I sit here at my computer this morning, I get the feeling that the attempts being made to keep the Internet's safe will not come to fruition soon.

Yes, I can hear you saying, "don't be such a downer, Doug"

Well, hear me out.

Lets explore John Lockes quote shall we?

Life. Yours, mine, your loved ones. Its yours, to do with what you will. Well, sometimes your will is to use the Internet's. But how secure are you? Is your AntiVirus, AntiSpyware and Firewall working and up to date? Do you know what is a Spam email is and not to click on the URL they provide? These decisions can affect your life if you are online.

Next, Liberty or as I prefer to think of, Freedom. To have access to particular resources without constraint. If online threats are making your life hectic, would you consider your rights violated? I would if I found out that some drive by download had installed a keylogger on my computer and then cleaned out my bank account. Or how about while you're trying to conduct business online and you keep getting these awful pop=ups telling you about the sale at Harveys Fish Emporium.

Are your Liberties/ Freedoms being constrained yet?

Now we come to the best part, the pursuit of Spyware. Ok, so John Locke didn't say anything about Spyware, Write your own article, this ones mine!

Threats to our online safety are growing in leaps and bounds by the day. I learned long ago, there is always someone out there who is better than anyone previously. The attacks on servers, the Bot networks, the phishing, the URL re-directs, Keyloggers, Image Spam, it just goes on and on. Your personal information is at risk every minute you are online.

I know, you have the best AntiVirus, AntiSpyware, Firewall there is. But is it really? How do you know? When was the last time you ran "Hijack This" and uploaded the results to a help Forum like MajorGeeks, Bleeping Computer or DaniWeb? Its the only way to make sure your computer is clean. And theres no guarantee it wont become re-infected two minutes after you leave the Forum.I know it happens because I frequent these Forums and I see hundreds of freaked users pleading for help. Many are repeat submitters.

Which brings me to the whole purpose of this article. To bring into the spotlight those out there who fight everyday to help keep us safe. They sit at their computers for hours at a time, examining postings in Forums to help others they don't even know stay out of the clutches of those who would benefit from the misfortune of others.

Ever get that feeling of helplessness that comes when your computer wont work right.

Remember? Not fun huh? These people read your postings and know your pain. Its hard to do this also, they have to help you fix your computer thru posting instructions for you to do. Miscommunication and frustrations can cause it to take longer and compound the repairs.

Then there are the organizations that go after the meanies that cause your pain.

They put out alerts and issue fixes. These include The Alliance of Security Analysis Professionals, The Anti-Spyware Coalition, The Council of Advocates for Relief from Malware Assimilation, The Spamhaus Project, just to name a few. There are plenty more out there that are fighting the good fight every day. The goal is a communication arena where all can participate without concern of malicious intent.

Kind of like the old days when the Internet first existed.

Back then there were "Hackers". They were mostly driven by ego and competition to see who was the best. Now its mostly about money. Legions of Bot captured computers sending out Spam and ads going to millions and millions of unprotected servers, computers and of course, into your email. Theres also the Pharming of websites, waiting like a spider in its lair for you to show up and give you a lil driveby download of something special. You name the evil that people do and you can find it online. Thank goodness the goodness of the Internet's is on the other side of the scale.

So, the solution? Make another one and try again? I don't have the answer, I do know that there are good people out there who want safety for all and are making a good show of it. They deserve our thanks.

I believe there is alway bad that comes with the good. A balance or whatever. And like the other saying goes, Retaining Freedom for all requires constant vigilance.

So be vigilant.

About The Author

Doug Woodall has a website at There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware, Viruses and other Online Nasties.

Copyright © 2001-Present

This article was posted by permission.

Thu Aug 02, 2007 9:32 am
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