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Internet User’s Awareness and Understanding of Spyware and Anti-Spyware
Alshamrani M, Furnell SM
Advances in Communications, Computing, Networks and Security Volume 7, ISBN: 978-1-84102-283-3, pp20-28, 2010
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Spyware represents one of the main Internet threats. It can secretly compromise and control
the devices and the personal data of the individual user or the organization without their
knowledge. This research paper examines the level of awareness for Internet users about
Spyware threats and Anti-spyware protection services. An online survey was designed and
published, with 225 respondents with different backgrounds and experience participating.
From the analysed results, the study found that there is a significant lack of awareness
amongst Internet users about Spyware threats and Anti-spyware protection services, while the
number of Spyware attacks has increased. A quarter of participants had no idea about Spyware
threats at all. At least 40% have been attacked by Spyware, and 32% of the respondents do not
understand how to use Anti-spyware or the protection system in their PCs. The research found
that the lack of training was the main reason for the lack of awareness about Spyware threats
and Anti-spyware protection services. Only 31% of the respondents had attended a course or
training session about computer security. The trained participants in general are the most
aware and protected group of respondents regarding to Spyware threats. However, the study
showed that the training sessions are not focusing on or giving sufficient information about
Spyware and Anti-spyware. Only 25% of the aware participants received some information
about Spyware and Anti-spyware from the training sessions they received from their

Alshamrani M, Furnell SM