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Spyware Examples

Below are just a few examples of what people have dubbed spyware or annoyware.

  • Example: A computer user sees an Internet advertisement for Program A. The user clicks on the ad and is sent to a page that pops up a window asking if the user wants to download Program A. The user clicks "no", but Program A is eventually downloaded and installed anyway.
  • Example: A computer user loads Company J's Web page. The Web page opens another page running a java script. When the user closes Company J's Web page, the java script page covertly resets the user's homepage. The java script is written such that any time the user attempts to reset his or her homepage, the program automatically resets it again so the user cannot reset his or her homepage to what it was before the hijacking took place.
  • Example: A computer user downloads Software Package K. Among the programs in Software Package K is a dialer application that was not mentioned in any advertisements, software licenses or consumer notices associated with the package or in information provided in conjunction with the ongoing operations of the package. The dialer application is not an integral part of Software Package K. When the user opens her Web browser after installation of Software Package K, the dialer opens in a hidden window, turns off the sound of the user's computer and calls a phone number without the user's permission.
  • Example: A computer user downloads Gaming Program W. The user wants to remove Gaming Program W from the computer. Gaming Program W does not have an uninstall program or instructions and does not show up in the Add/Remove feature of the user's operating system.
  • Example: A computer user downloads Program X. The user wants to remove Program X from the computer. Program X appears in the Add/Remove feature of the user's operating system. However, when the user selects the remove option, a component of Program X remains behind. The next time the user connects to the Internet, this component re-downloads the remainder of Program X and reinstalls it.

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Last modified: May 19, 2011