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scumware

Scumware is any programming that gets on your computer from Internet sites without your consent and often without your knowledge. Scumware is a general term that encompasses spyware, adware, annoyware, malware, parasiteware, unwelcome cookies, and various forms of viruses.

Scumware has become an increasing problem in recent years. Tactics employed by scumware purveyors range from deception to fraud to outright larceny. Scumware can arrive as part of some shareware and freeware packages. Scumware can also be used to facilitate identity theft. A number of programs are available to limit the vulnerability of computers to scumware. They include firewalls, anti-virus software, pop-up ad blockers, and programs designed to detect and delete cookies and spyware.

This was last updated in September 2005

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