Middle East users warned about spyware

Middle East IT users are under threat from spyware, warns security firm Trend Micro this week.

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By  Peter Branton Published  April 25, 2004

Middle East IT users are under threat from spyware, warns security firm Trend Micro this week. Spyware is the term for software on a computer that can monitor a user’s actions, often without his knowledge. In the US, a survey released last month revealed that the average user has nearly 30 such spyware programs on his computer. Trend Micro is warning users in this region that is it not an overseas problem. “Anyone who accesses the internet is potentially at risk,” said Justin Doo, managing director of Trend Micro in the Middle East and Africa region in a release issued today. While most spyware is relatively harmless and is mainly used for displaying ads and sending data about your surfing habits for marketing purposes, it can be used for more sinister purposes, such as stealing confidential information. “All of this can be done with the user believing their network is secure,” said Doo. Signs that a computer is running a spyware program include a slow-down in processing times, a corrupted internet browser and the appearance of a high number of pop-up screens when opening the internet browser. Trend Micro’s release says users can reduce the risk of spyware infecting their systems by being careful about downloading “free” software, implementing anti-spyware programs and using firewalls. The company offers an anti-spyware service to customers.

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