Yahoo Toolbar Combats Spyware

By Matthew Hicks  |  Posted 2004-05-27 Print this article Print

The Internet company launches a beta for its Web browser toolbar that helps users battle unwanted software downloads.

Watch out, spyware. Yahoos gonna nab you. Yahoo Inc. on Thursday joined the fight against unwanted software that monitors users Web surfing, alters their home pages and bombards them with ads. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company announced a beta for its Web browser toolbar that includes an anti-spyware plug-in for finding and removing spyware and other unwanted programs.
The Anti-Spy beta for the Yahoo Toolbar also lets users manage various spyware and other downloaded software, including restoring programs accidentally removed, Yahoo said.
For the new toolbar beta, Yahoo is making use of anti-spyware software from PestPatrol Inc., which offers a commercial version of its anti-spyware applications. Spyware increasingly has captured the attention of regulators and lawmakers. The Federal Trade Commission has begun a series of investigations into spyware abuses and has been holding public forums on the issue. Congressional lawmakers have introduced at least three bills about the issue, and last month a U.S. House committee held hearings to probe the rise in unwanted and deceptive software downloads. Click here to read Security Center Editor Larry Seltzers take on the anti-spyware bills. Along with the beta test, Yahoo started an online forum for consumers to discuss spyware issues and find the latest information about unwanted software, including an updated list of the biggest spyware pests. Yahoo did not say when its Anti-Spy feature will become generally available in the Yahoo Toolbar. It is now available to a limited number of users as a free download here. It requires the Windows operating system and Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher. Check out eWEEK.coms Security Center at for the latest security news, reviews and analysis.

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Matthew Hicks As an online reporter for, Matt Hicks covers the fast-changing developments in Internet technologies. His coverage includes the growing field of Web conferencing software and services. With eight years as a business and technology journalist, Matt has gained insight into the market strategies of IT vendors as well as the needs of enterprise IT managers. He joined Ziff Davis in 1999 as a staff writer for the former Strategies section of eWEEK, where he wrote in-depth features about corporate strategies for e-business and enterprise software. In 2002, he moved to the News department at the magazine as a senior writer specializing in coverage of database software and enterprise networking. Later that year Matt started a yearlong fellowship in Washington, DC, after being awarded an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellowship for Journalist. As a fellow, he spent nine months working on policy issues, including technology policy, in for a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He rejoined Ziff Davis in August 2003 as a reporter dedicated to online coverage for Along with Web conferencing, he follows search engines, Web browsers, speech technology and the Internet domain-naming system.

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