Spyware is the main cause for cookie deletion. Spyware infection is widespread among computer users, and the majority of consumers have had significant operating problems thanks to spyware. Many consumers do not understand the difference between spyware and adware. Similarly, many consumers conflate cookies with spyware and adware. Understanding consumer perceptions and misperceptions of spyware, adware and cookies is critical to any attempt to reduce cookie deletion. A 2004 study by EarthLink and Webroot Software, which markets anti-spyware products, revealed an average of 27.8 instances of spyware per scanned computer. An October 2004 study from AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance shows 88% of dial-up users and 74% of broadband users with either spyware or adware on their computers. More recent data from Pew Internet & American Life Project, based on self-reported observations after hearing a definition of the terms adware and spyware, found about one-third of U.S. adult Internet users claiming their computer is contaminated by spyware.
Published in Brief: