It just amazes me how there are companies out there, claiming to be legitimate businesses, who are distributing what can only be known as spyware, adware, malware, badware, and viruses. These companies get away with it due to obscure clauses and legal double-speak in their terms of agreements, if they bother to have one at all.\nSome websites will download unwanted spyware and badware on your computer without any consent from you at all. They claim that all of this information gathering has a legitimate purpose and that people are over-reacting.\nSome people do not know what a virus is. It is simply a program. Just like any other program you download and use everyday. It must be installed onto your computer. The difference between a virus and a legitimate program lies in the purpose for which it was created.\nA legitimate program was created to help you perform a task. A virus was created to harm your computer or steal information from you. The other difference is the first one is legal, the latter is not.\nA virus is legitimately defined as an executable program, however, any script or macro should be included in that definition in my opinion. If they are written with the intent of causing harm to a user’s computer or they are written and installed on a user’s computer in order to gather information on that user, then they are no better and no different than a virus, and should fall under the same laws that apply to viruses.\nIf these programs like GAIN, Gator, and WinFixer are so legitimate, why are the techniques they use to install it on a user’s computer so sly? Why are they using these sneaky tactics, such as downloading it onto someone’s computer without disclosing what it actually is to the user in a clear manner?\nWhy do they write their malware, badware, and adware in such a way as to have it resist your efforts to remove it from your computer? Your computer is something you bought and paid for. You have the right to decide what will be installed on your computer. Anyone who writes a program that resists your ability to choose to remove it is a violation of your rights.\nOur elected officials don’t know how to surf the web for the most part, let alone actually understand what the definition of a virus is and how to legislate against spyware and malware. Software companies who write legitimate programs lobby them to make sure they do not pass any laws that regulate the sale of software.\nExample: Name any other product or service where you must pay up front for it before you even see the contract you must sign and agree to before you can use it?\nNot only that, but large corporations support the use of malware, adware, spyware, badware, and viruses that gather information from users without their knowledge. They in turn buy that information to build their own consumer databases and use that information to sell you products. They pay to know what your habits are. As long as they are willing to pay for that information, companies like GAIN will continue to steal it from user’s and sell it to these companies.\nIf you want to know how many programs on your computer are gathering information about you, you will need to get some type of spyware detection software. There are several available, however, be careful, some of those advertising the removal of spyware are actually installing it on your computer themselves. Make sure you do a search in your favorite search engine to find out about the brand of software you are thinking of downloading.\nIf your computer is infected with Gator or GAIN, you may have to use anti-virus software to remove it. Many of the anti-virus companies have removal instructions on their website. If GAIN were a legitimate company and legitimate software, it’s highly doubtful it would have to be removed by an anti-virus program.\nI hope this article has been helpful to you. GAIN, WinFixer, and other programs that act in this unethical manner should be considered viruses and held accountable for the harm they do to your computer and liable for the time it takes to remove them. That’s my opinion.