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There are many different opinions as to what constitutes spyware (many people
prefer to call it trojanware). I recommend reading Steve Gibson's seven
point Code of Backchannel Conduct
for a clear definition of software behaviors that denote spyware.
In addition to privacy and security concerns, resource-hogging adware and spyware can cause system and browser instability and slowness. For users paying for dialup services by time used, ad-loading and hidden communications with servers can be costly.
Adware isn't necessarily spyware. Registered shareware without ads may be spyware. Purchased out-of-the-box software may contain adware and may also be spyware. Updates may change a previously ad-free version into an adware product. All this makes for a confusing mess and users need to be on guard when installing any type of software.
Avoid adware. If you're broke and can't buy a clean shareware product, find an ad-free, non-spying equivalent of the program you need. Avoid spyware at all costs. Install a firewall and pay attention to what is asking for permission to connect online. Learn to use a packetsniffer to identify transmissions that sneak through your browser and other trusted apps.
The best advice I can give when it comes to software is to do like the X-Files guy said: "Trust no-one."
adzapper has been tested on:
It should also work on any Unix platform that Python runs on.
Please see Installing and About adzapper for information on installing and using adzapper.
Please note that the zaplet file format has changed again, as of
Zaplets now use a completely XML-based file format. This format is incompatible with previous zaplet file formats. All zaplets in the current repository have been converted to this format. The current version of adzapper has a web-interface for editing XML zaplets and conversion programs for your existing zaplets.
adzapper Home | About adzapper | Installing | Zaplets | Zaplet File Format | Zaplet Updates
adamf at pobox.com (replace the 'at' with '@' to contact me via email)
Spyware and Ad Removal Site