Sep 7

Submitted by: John Tenn

Malware (short for malicious software) is the term used to describe any program designed to do harm. Though the definition of harm may depend on individual perspective, most users agree that viruses, Trojans, and worms are all forms of malware. Some people even include spam in that category, claiming that junk mail causes harm. The two newest forms of malware to hit the Internet are adware and spyware.

What is Adware?

There are two different kinds of adware on the market today; one is fairly legitimate, the other fairly malicious. The first kind, the more legitimate one, is advertiser-supported software. Though the user may get the useful utility software for free, it comes with advertisements to generate revenue to support further development. Usually this kind of software is available in an ad-free form for a modest cost. The system is very similar to television- network TV is available for free because it is subsidized by the revenue from commercials.

The second kind of adware is more malicious, monitoring your browsing habits and delivering targeted advertising. Many consider this kind of adware spyware if it is installed without your consent or knowledge.

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The line between adware and spyware is a fine one, but many software vendors argue that if full disclosure is made in the fine print of the user agreement, legal consent for installation is granted by the user. Users (most of while rarely take the time to read the long and jargon-filled user agreements) tend to disagree.

What is Spyware?

Spyware refers to those insidious programs that track your browsing habits and even redirect your browser to selected websites. It is almost always installed without the knowledge or consent of the user, often hidden inside another program or as the payload of a virus or worm.

Hidden spyware is illegal in many countries, including in the US, where the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has indicted and convicted several purveyors of spyware.

Some programs require users to install spyware as a part of the installation process. Kazaa and BearShare (two file sharing utilities) are notorious for this practice. The user agreement for these two programs does spell-out the fact that spyware is included, but there is no spyware-free version of these programs available. Users who want those utilities must agree to the installation of spyware, a legal practice that most users nonetheless consider unethical.

Once installed, the spyware gathers information about the web-browsing habits of the user. This information is analyzed, and the analysis used to deliver targeted advertising to the user. Spyware vendors argue that they gather demographic information rather than specific personal information (like names, addresses, etc) so they are engaged in legitimate market analysis rather than privacy violation.

Advertisers claim that targeted ads are the best way to reach potential clients who might actually be interested in purchasing their products. Some go so far as to claim it falls under the protection of the Constitution because it is a form of free speech.

Despite this argument by the vendors, most users consider spyware annoying and intrusive. Users counter that the free speech of the advertisers should not infringe their right to privacy, and has no place on the browsers and in the inboxes of the uninterested.

Though new forms of adware and spyware are constantly being released, there are legislative efforts afoot to counter this menace. In the meantime, use a browser that blocks pop-ups and a spyware-checker that detects and deletes spyware to keep your private computing private.

About the Author: Are you sure that there is no adware, spyware and other malware in your computer? Check out this

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webpage that offers tips and tricks to protect your computer as well as your personal information.


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Mar 2

Meditation is a tool for peace


Michael Bunata

Hectic schedule and modern life work, makes most of the people feel stressed and overworked. There is not just enough time in a day to wrap up everything. We feel tired, impatient and unhappy because of work load. It can also affect our body and mind. We are often so busy that there is not enough time to stop and meditate.

Meditation is mental as well as physical discipline that attempts a deeper state of relaxation. It also involves turning the attention from single point reference. It has been practiced since antiquity and is also component of many religions and sometimes also practiced outside the religion. But meditation actually gives more time to keep mind calmer and more focused. Different meditative techniques involves wide ranges of spiritual and psychological practices that focuses on different goals like higher state of consciousness, creativity or self-awareness, or simply a more relaxed and peaceful frame of mind. Secrets of meditation help to stay active and sharp.

The purpose or aim behind meditation breathing is to calm the mind and develop an inner peace. First step of meditation is to stop distraction and make mind calmer and more lucid. This can be achieved by regular practising of a simple breath meditation. Always choose quiet and clean place to meditate and sit in comfortable position or sit in cross legged posture or any other position thats comfortable for you. Then close your eyes partially and turn attention to breathing while meditation. Breathe naturally through nostrils without attempting to control your breath and become aware of the sensation of breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. You should try to concentrate on it; focus on a single point on the sensation of the breathing and try to avoid different thoughts that arise in the mind. If you notice that mind is distracted and is following thoughts, immediately return to breath. Repeat this as many times until the mind calms and settles.

Meditation audio guides through a series of steps or imagery exercises. Meditation audio includes various forms of music, tones to relax or stimulate brain waves. Most of the people find audio for meditation is helpful because it provides diversity in practice as well as discipline. Another plus point of using free guided audio meditation is the opportunity to try many different styles and presenters. Music helps to relax, calm and helps to gain concentration.

You can use the Meditation chair as proper posture is essential. Sit up comfortably stable and straight. Keep feet grounded on the floor and hands should be on the knees. Chest should lift up and shoulders should be down during meditation.

By practicing the basic secrets of meditation, gradually our thoughts will settle and will experience relaxation and joy of inner peace. Mind becomes spacious and will fell refreshed. Stress and tension comes from mind. Many of the problems including ill health are caused by this stress. Concentration on breathing helps to calm distracting thoughts and mind will become lucid and clear. Breathing meditation and audio meditation keep inner peace and contentment just by controlling the mind.

Michael Bunata is author of this article on Secrets of Meditation. Find more information about The Basic Secrets of Meditation here.

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