The spread of spyware is slowing down, a Dell executive has told the Louisiana Senate's Select Committee on Consumer Affairs and Technology.
The number of spyware-related support calls to the Dell helpdesk has halved over the past year, according to Mike George, Dell's vice president for US Consumer Business.
George attributed the "major" decrease to improved consumer awareness and more effective security software. A Dell survey in September 2004 found that the majority of consumers were ignorant of the spyware threat.
"We are encouraged that consumers, industry and policymakers are working to establish awareness around online menaces like spyware," he said.
"This collaboration is helping to increase consumer knowledge and access to the right tools, which is making it easier for consumers to use the internet."
Although definitions of spyware differ, it is generally described as software that monitors users' actions without their consent.
Some spyware is harmless to end users and logs the websites they visit for market research purposes. More malicious variations log keystrokes in an attempt to steal user names and passwords.
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