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Spyware pandemic anyone?

You know, I'm running my anti-spyware software overnight, every night these days, and regularly picking up two or three low-threat spyware (opens in new tab)applets on each scan.

I'm not stupid (you want to bet? -Ed) and can quite clearly remember only picking up a couple of spyware applets a week just a few months ago. Something is going on.

Webroot Software (opens in new tab), the anti-spyware specialist, agrees, and says its research suggests that spyware has become commonplace on the Net - so commonplace, in fact, that the Colorado-based firm reckons we have a spyware pandemic on our hands.

According to the research, spyware has spread voraciously across the globe, due mostly to the increase in global access to the Internet, resulting on average, with an infection of 24.4 spies on each PC scanned in the US.

Webroot reports that Thailand had the second highest infection rate with an average of 18.7 spies per scanned PC and the UK rounds out the top three with an average of 18.1 spies per PC scanned.

Should we be worried? Welllll - there's spyware and there's spyware.

All of the crap I'm picking up seems to be over-the-top marketing applets designed to do the Internet equivalent of a Sky Plus (opens in new tab)box and let Big Brother know my Web site viewing habits.

You can download a copy of the report free (opens in new tab) on the Net and it certainly makes for some interesting reading. Me? I'll carry on using Zone Alarm Pro, Spybot Search and Destroy and...

Paranoid? Possibly... must dash and run a spyware scanner...