Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Web Secret #74: StopBADware

"Bad, bad, bad, bad software, you make me feel so mad..."

With a nod to the 1985 Gloria Estefan hit - there is nothing that makes me angrier than downloading a program and being subjected to "BADware".

What is BADware?

BADware is software that fundamentally disregards a user’s choice regarding how his or her computer will be used. Common examples of badware include free screensavers that surreptitiously generate advertisements, malicious web browser toolbars that take your browser to different pages than the ones you expect, or keylogger programs that can transmit your personal data to malicious parties.

Thank God for They are looking out for my computer, your computer, EVERYONE's computer. is a partnership between top academic institutions, technology industry leaders, and volunteers committed to protecting Internet and computer users from threats to their privacy and security caused by bad software.

What's in it for you?

Well for starters, when you go to StopBADware's Alerts & Reports page, you will find a list of applications that are potentially exhibiting badware behaviors. So, for example, I find out I should NOT download:

Aldi Photo Manager
AntiVirProtect & AntiSpywareShield
the Jessica Simpson Screensaver (damn, I wanted that.)

...among many others.

I can also look up a site in the Search Badware Website Clearinghouse BEFORE I download any software. - THANK YOU.

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