Altnet.t Consumer Privacy
There is really nothing wrong about making money through the internet. Advertising-supported software, such as AdWare.Win32.Altnet.t if done properly, is a unique and viable business model in which software developers can make money without requiring the end-user to pay for the software. However, the key words are if done properly, which is often not the case. While it may come as no surprise that adware uses your ‘Net connection to download ads, you would have good reason to be concerned about the large amounts of data flowing in the other direction. Several adware applications have been known to secretly snoop around areas of your computer they don’t belong, including your browser history.
As much as current spyware modules do to steal away users’ privacy, they have the potential to even more. Spyware exists as an independent, executable program on your system, and has the capability to do anything any program can do, including monitor keystrokes, arbitrarily scan files on your hard drive, snoop other applications such as word-processors and chat programs, read your cookies, change your default homepage, interface with your default Web browser to determine what Web sites you are visiting, and monitor various aspect of your behavior, “phoning home” from time to time to report this information back to the spyware’s author. It can even notify the spyware company of any attempts to modify or remove it from the system. All the information obtained by the spyware can be used by the spyware author for marketing purposes, or sold to other companies for a profit.
In other words, spyware can spy on any aspect of your computer use, and is not limited in the ways Web sites are when it comes to gathering personal data. While a Web site can gather limited demographic and statistical data automatically provided by the Web browser and Internet protocols, and read cookies set by its own domain, spyware can “see” and disclose any data on, entering or exiting your computer. This information can then be used for just about any purpose, even sold to the highest bidder!