The Internet service provider said Spyware Blocker will now be bundled for free with its TotalAccess Internet software. Subscribers can download a copy of the blocker from EarthLink's Web site.
The program includes tools to scan and disable any spyware on subscribers' computers, a function that antivirus and firewall software can't perform effectively, the Atlanta-based ISP said.
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Spyware software can multiply rapidly and pass on information about a person's online activities to another individual or company without that person's knowledge. The software is commonly distributed through e-mail, freeware or shareware.
"Unfortunately, many people are unaware of the serious threat that spyware poses or even of its presence on their computers," Rob Kaiser, vice president of narrowband marketing at EarthLink, said in a statement.
Of the more ominous spying applications are keystroke loggers and Trojan programs. Keystroke loggers track online activities by recording each user's keystrokes, possibly exposing the PC user to identity theft; Trojan applications enable hackers to gain unrestricted access to a PC while its user is online.
Last month, a company called Lover Spy began marketing a, to let people track the computer activities of their mates. The company said the software is being used by private investigators, parents and spouses, but analysts say the software violates U.S. laws.