Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Adware vs. Spyware

Adware is advertising that comes with freeware you download to your computer. Often times when you download a trial or a free version of a program, that program is sponsored by a company. That company sponsors the program to have the right to advertise on the program or in a pop-up window. A common mode of adware is through online poker programs that you download to your computer. A lot of college students play poker online using programs they download for free, and most of those programs come with adware either in the program or in pop-ups or both. With most adware when you close the program the advertisements go away, but sometimes a series of pop-ups appear instead.

Spyware is different from adware in that the ads you see are related to you. The freeware that you download tracks your activities and as a result you see ads that are more enticing to you. Spyware is similar to Trojans because you unknowingly download other programs that track your activities when you download another program. Spyware can monitor your keystrokes, scan files, install other programs, read cookies, change your homepage and send all of that information back to the author who shares it with advertising companies or sells it. Since spyware shares information with other parties I think spyware is definitely more dangerous than adware. A common medium of downloading spyware is through peer-to-peer sharing programs.

I think adware and software was brought about as a way of companies being able to offer free programs. I think adware came about first, and someone realized the potential for gain and began what is now known as spyware by selling information. Spyware authors benefit because they make money on selling the information they collect. Advertising companies benefit because they are able to send specific advertisements to different users to target consumers better and thus make more money. Some companies benefit from adware and spyware because it allows them to share trial versions of their programs at very little cost to them. They eventually make even more money back when people pay for the full version of programs.


CCleaner and AdAware 2007

I ran CCleaner first.
Before Scan:
CCleaner Screenshot Before Scan

After Scan:

CCleaner Screenshot After Scan

After I scanned my computer with CCleaner I scanned it with Ad-Aware 2007.

Before scan:

After scan:

Ad-Aware managed to find 11 items, however while Ad-Aware was scanning Symantec found hundreds of items through auto-protect. 16 of those items were Trojan Horses. Turns out the program I downloaded to remove malware brought more with it than it was able to find.


Monday, January 28, 2008

CIS Presents - Buttons you haven't pressed in office 2007

The CIS presentation “Buttons You Haven’t Pressed Yet in Office 2007” gave a general overview of functions Word 2007 has that were not present in previous versions.

Some things I learned are:

  • The interactive guide under the Get Started tab will show you how to do things in Word 2007 that you knew how to do in Word 2003, but you can’t find.
  • You can change how often word Autosaves your work by clicking the Word Options button.
  • You can change text styles quickly under the Home tab.
  • You can quickly copy the format of text using the format painter button under the Home tab.
  • A nice feature Word 2007 added is that when you copy and paste text Word asks if you want to keep the original format or if you want it to match the style of the document.
  • Word 2007 allows more picture editing features such as adding 3D effects, cropping and shaping.
  • You can add Smart Art under the insert tab. Smart art is a graphical way of presenting information.
  • Quick Parts under the Insert tab allows you to quickly add various items such as a cover page to your paper.
  • Under the Page Layout tab you can add watermarks to the background of your paper, or even change the page color if you are using it for a presentation.
  • If you are working on a paper with a group you can track changes made to the paper under the Review tab. You can also add comments, and accept or deny changes that someone else proposes.
  • Under the References tab you can add a bibliography and citations to your paper.

Friday, January 25, 2008


My name's Matt. I'm from Sayville, New York. I'm a finance major with a LSM in ethics and social responsibility. My two favorite hobbies are surfing and photography. I'm at the beach everyday during the summer and if I'm not surfing I'm taking pictures of my friends surfing. I photograph pretty much anything, but mostly surfing and sunrises/sunsets. If you want to see any just let me know. Thats about it.

me pulling into a barrel

Pulling into a barrel in early January 2008.

sunrise at Gilgo Beach

Sunrise at Gilgo Beach, New York in early January 2008.