Computer Users Beware

- January 19, 2005


You may unknowingly have tracking software installed on your computer that allows an outside company to track all of your internet activity. There is currently new computer software being installed on people's computers when they click on certain banner advertising by a company called Marketscore.   Marketscore, a marketing and research company, has placed banner ads on the internet claiming to increase a user's internet speed when they click on a link. However, once a user clicks on the link, a program is placed on the user's computer which allows Marketscore to monitor the user's entire Internet behavior, which includes normal web browsing, and also any secure activities, such as VISA payment sites.  

Pat Power, Director, Networks and Systems at Dalhousie, said, "People who have Marketscore installed on their computers are vulnerable to inadvertently transmitting details about their own personal financial records, credit cards, and university information." "In order to protect the confidentiality and privacy of personal information exchanged with our users, Networks and Systems is blocking all traffic which originates from or is destined to known web-proxies" said Pat Power. "Although Marketscore claims they do not use the personal information they acquire, it is not safe to assume that is true. The onus is on us to protect this confidential information."

Karen Crombie, Legal Counsel for Dalhousie University, agrees with these steps. "Disclosure of this kind of information may well be a violation of University regulations and privacy legislation", she said.

If you have unintentionally installed Marketscore on your computer, you will not be able to access Dalhousie websites while the block is in place. You can verify that your traffic is been redirected through one of these proxies by visiting:

What to do

Anti-virus and anti-spyware products can often detect Marketscore, but are not completely effective removing it. Users infected with this program may wish to try the solution offered by Columbia University:

You may also contact your computer support person, or visit the Dalhousie Help Desk.

Additional Resources

The contains many links to information and free tools regarding Marketscore and spyware in general.


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