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American Society of Landscape Architects


November 2004 Issue

The Dangers of Spyware
How to find out if your computer system is under surveillance, and what to do if it is.

By James L. Sipes, ASLA

The Dangers of Spyware James Yang/

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you are under attack! You are being spied upon, your most private information is being taken and shared with others, and your identity is being stolen one byte at a time. You are the victim of spyware.

If you spend much time on the internet or have downloaded any shareware or trial systems in the past year or so, then most likely your computer is infected with spyware, which is any technology used to gather information about people and organizations without their knowledge.

Why should landscape architects be concerned about spyware? Once it is loaded on your computer, spyware keeps track of the files you use, the web sites you visit, and the information you type on your keyboard, and it reports all of that information via the internet back to advertisers or other interested parties. In essence, spyware can keep track of anything you do and can gain access to virtually any type of information on your computer.

You are not safe from spyware today, and in the future the situation will get worse as both legitimate and malicious companies find new ways to use spyware.

…To read the entire article, subscribe to LAM!

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