'

The Spyware That Snagged Me

Sharman Networks makes the Kazaa file-sharing software. Using this software to swap copyrighted files carries legal risks, but it can also spray spyware all over your PC.

Sharman Networks makes the Kazaa file-sharing software. Using this software to swap copyrighted files carries legal risks, but it can also spray spyware all over your PC.

Last time I installed Kazaa, it was not to obtain Dave Matthews Band tracks on the Down Low, for a book I was writing on how to safely download and use digitalmedia files(the book is out, BTW). I purposely disabled my anti-spyware utility to see what would happen. After installation, I had 434 more spyware files than before I commenced the download.

Now, the new Kazaa version 3.0 includes Internet telephony software from Skype. Kazaa says the software enables users to make free online calls anywhere in the world.

I'm sorry, I am dreading what's going to happen, but sometime soon I am going to download Kazaa 3.0 and count the spyware files. The process may slow my PC down, but I think I owe you my findings.

Until then, I have to say innocent until proven guilty. Or, at leastuntil I get back to you with contrary information, I recommend a variation on the lesson Mr. Whipple never learned. "Don't download the Sharman."