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Privacy threats are everyone’s problem

What every computer user should know about spyware

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A loosely defined collection of computer software known as "spyware" has quickly become the subject of considerable public alarm. Recent bills introduced in Congress are a step in the right direction toward curtailing these hidden self-installed computer applications, but such efforts won't be enough to ward off potential damage, the Center for Democracy and Technology concluded in a new study. The study, "Ghosts In Our Machines: Background and Policy Proposals on the 'Spyware' Problem," identified the range of applications known as spyware, clarified the core problems raised by these applications and provided tips about how to protect information and computers from spyware. Real estate brokers and agents need to be aware of these potential threats because their computer systems hold the personal information of hundreds of clients and real estate transactions. The study identifies spyware applications as posing a "significant privacy threat" to users' information and data stored in...