Spyware rapidly on the rise

C|Net is reporting that the number of Spyware and Adware programs are on the rise, and not by a trivial margin. From 2001 to 2002, the number of different Adware and Spyware programs increased by nearly 20 times, and the masses are eating it up:
EarthLink executives estimate that 40 percent to 50 percent of the Internet service provider's subscribers have running on their machines some kind of advertising or more-malicious program, which often monitors their behavior and sends the data back to the software's parent company.
It's getting so bad that Earthlink is even looking to officially distribute Spyware-killing software to its customers, and it won't be a moment too soon. I can't count how many times I've been troubleshooting a flakey PC and found all sorts of Spyware hogging resources and generally being a pain. It's about time Joe Sixpack had someone watching his back.
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