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Spyware abuse includes domestic abuse says McAfee

Spying on one's partner is a growing abuse of spyware, says McAfee.

Robert Vamosi Former Editor
As CNET's former resident security expert, Robert Vamosi has been interviewed on the BBC, CNN, MSNBC, and other outlets to share his knowledge about the latest online threats and to offer advice on personal and corporate security.
Robert Vamosi

On Thursday, the Anti-Spyware Coalition will meet in Washington. Included will be experts from McAfee, Google, and the Pew Internet & American Life project to discuss the latest in spyware trends. In addition to the well-known damage caused by spyware--hawking advertising, stealing passwords, and slowing down PCs--McAfee is calling attention to a little known aspect of spyware: domestic abuse.

"Using spyware for surveillance in cases of domestic abuse is a serious matter," says Anna Stepanov, who manages the Anti-Spyware program at McAfee Avert Labs. She's written a report titled Spyware: A Morphing Campaign (in PDF), which chronicles recent spyware trends including domestic abuse. "Monitoring a victim's online, cell phone, or general computing activity is of more value than ever in controlling or hurting a victim."

The National Network to End Domestic Violence offers these computer use tips to protect against such abuse.