A couple of days ago, I blogged about MacGuard, a rogue “spyware remover” that followed in the footsteps of MacSweeper. While the problem is insignificant for Macintosh owners, it is getting out of control for Windows users. Every week there’s a new rogue anti-spyware program that uses aggressive marketing to force its way onto an unsuspecting user’s desktop. Taking a look at Spyware Warrior’s Rogue list will help you realise the extent of the problem. While the FTC rids the world of a few rogues each year, there are still many more that remain, some online since 2004. To make a real dent in the number of rogue anti-spyware downloads that are damaging consumers’ computing experience, search engines like Google and Yahoo! need to be more careful with their advertising programs. While praise must be given to Yahoo! for teaming with McAfee for a SiteAdvisor-like search, there are still many paid advertisements for dangerous websites that appear on the first page of searches like “spyware remover”, “anti-spyware download” and “free adware removal“. Google also needs to upgrade it’s own safe search result system so more results are correctly labeled, but above all, it is important that all search engines develop a better advertising scheme that instantly blocks links to sites with misleading business practices. How? Beats me.
Enjoy your weekend, – r.