The Pew Internet & American Life Project site has
an interesting study on users reported changing Internet
behavior in regards to spyware/adware.
The report indicates people responding to their survey say
they no longer open attachments unless they know it is
“safe”, are more likely to read through the user
agreement/disclaimer/privacy statement, have stopped going to
questionable sites, and 18 percent said they’ve switched to a
more secure web browser.
That said, it appears what users actually do is somewhat
different from what they report. For example, while 50
percent say they may have spyware/adware on their PCs, when
their PCs are scanned, more than 80 percent actually were
infected. And while more may be reading the user agreements
than before, a full 72 percent still don’t. In one instance,
where a company set up a fake user agreement that included a
$1,000USD reward to the first person to claim it, 3,000
people clicked on through before someone actually read it
and claimed the reward.
It appears that while people’s awareness of spyware/adware
may be increasing, the great majority are still unable or
unwilling to do much about it. Clearly, a better job must be
done in educating people about the problems associated with
spyware/adware and solutions to mitigate the