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Spyware abuse includes domestic abuse says McAfee

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

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.