Is spyware getting the best of you?

With spyware present in the majority of corporate PCs, chances are good that it's rampant in your systems. Find out how much you know about beating spyware with this quiz.

The best -- and most frustrating -- advice we've heard for winning the war against spyware is not to let it on to your systems in the first place. This can be tricky when there are myriad types of spyware, and no consensus as to what's safe and what's not. We've designed this quiz to help you test your spyware savvy and determine what you want on your systems and -- more importantly -- what you don't. After you've tallied your score, check out the resources that we've tailored specifically for your level of spyware expertise.

1.) Which of the following technical measures has the greatest impact on reducing spyware while maintaining Web browsing capabilities?
a. Disabling all ActiveX controls
b. Adjusting browser security settings
c. Blocking specific ActiveX controls from being installed
d. Rejecting cookies

2.) Which of the following is not a form of spyware?
a. BlazeFind
b. Transponder
c. Gator
d. Ad-Aware

3.) What differentiates a pop-up download from a drive-by download?
a. A pop-up download is a program that automatically downloads to the user's computer.
b. A pop-up download asks the user's permission before downloading a program to their computer.
c. A pop-up download is frequently installed with another application.
d. A pop-up download is carried out invisibly to the user.

4.) Which of the following methods does spyware use to install on an end user's machine?
a. Bundling with free peer-to-peer programs
b. Social engineering
c. Search toolbars
d. All of the above

5.) According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, what percentage of all computers is infected with spyware?
a. 80%
b. 76%
c. 57%
d. 43%

6.) What is a PUP?
a. A program that monitors keystrokes.
b. A small window that suddenly appears while browsing the Web, which downloads spyware to the user's computer.
c. Software in which advertising banners are displayed while the program is running.
d. A program that may be unwanted, despite the possibility that users consented to download it.

7.) How does spyware differ from other forms of malware, such as worms and viruses?
a. The delivery mechanism is unaware that it contains spyware.
b. Spyware installs without the user's knowledge.
c. Not all spyware is malicious.
d. Spyware replicates itself.

Test your knowledge of these subjects

8.) Which of the following is a form of spyware?
a. Keystroke logger
b. Browser hijacker
c. Spybot
d. All of the above.

9.) What is the name of a Web technology that enables the creation of portable modules and makes it possible for a browser to interact with desktop applications? (This technology is also the vector by which spyware is frequently downloaded.)
a. Back door
b. ActiveX
c. Cache poisoning
d. Cookie

10.) Which of the following is the most frequently identified spyware threat by Webroot's Spy Audit?
a. 1800search Assistant
b. Gator
c. CoolWebSearch
d. BlazeFind

How did you score?

8-10: Spyware savvy
Expand your understanding of the spyware problem by reading these advanced articles:

  • A wolf in sheep's clothing
  • Who best to define spyware?

5-7: Spyware solid
Spruce up your score with these articles and technical tips:

  • Blocking spyware via the Active X kill bit
  • Rousting spyware
  • Your desktop antivirus product may be leaving you wide open to attack

Fewer than five: Not the best spyware sleuth
Learn the essentials of spyware with these resources:

  • Words to know: Spyware
  • How to run antispyware tools
  • Tools for combating spyware in the enterprise

This was last published in May 2005

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