Computer users are advised to avoid the use of unaffiliated third party Internet companies such as the Web service called MarketScore (formerly known as NetSetter). MarketScore, and other similar network re-direction services, advertise themselves as Internet connection speed accelerators. However, independent experts have not observed any appreciable improvement in connection speed as a result of using services such as MarketScore.
While MarketScore advertises its claims for improved connection speed to attract potential users, it, and other similar traffic re-routers, exist to cull, compile and trade aggregate user data to retailers and marketing researchers. The MarketScore stated goal is to ". . .help others understand Internet trends and patterns."
This help is done by collecting and selling information on Internet usage patterns. Once you sign up, your Web connections are routed through MarketScore's servers, where all of your Internet traffic may be stored and analyzed. This includes even your secure connections. As a result, MarketScore can potentially gain access to your usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, PINs, bank and purchase transactions, and other confidential information.
As sensitive and confidential information may pass through the MarketScore servers, users are increasing their potential for identity theft and invasive monitoring of personal Internet usage. It is recommended that all Penn State users refrain from use of services such as MarketScore due to the potential security concerns mentioned above.
To learn how to protect your computer and your privacy from this and other potential problems, see the Take Control Web site. The current versions of Spybot-S&D or Ad-Aware can remove MarketScore.
If you have questions or need assistance, please contact the ITS Help Desk.