While I know Firefox isn’t able to get spyware (however, Smiley Central has an ‘ff’ executable you can download and run, Weatherbug has an sp2 page for those IE users who can’t get ActiveX installs as easily, and thus users can bring it upon themselves although not as easily), it’s also not able to repair currently installed spyware. This isn’t news. Firefox doesn’t need to repair currently installed spyware, there are a multitude of programs out there already that does this. However, we’re currently marketing Firefox to everybody. According to Spyware wars, 88% of home machines have spyware.
What about users who have ‘popups’, and don’t know where they’re coming from? They just assume it’s “the internet” running in the background. Switching to Firefox won’t stop these popups, and the average user is too daft to notice that the popups say “Internet Explorer”, or have the IE icon, or neither. The average popup that gets through has the Fx icon and ‘program name’, but they don’t know that. So what do we do?
While some wouldn’t mind the idea of a Firefox cd (such as Firemonger) with Anti-Spyware tools included, the licensing issue may be a problem. A great solution is to have a Windows Cleanup Event, where the spyware is removed and the cause (IE) of the spyware is fixed. Additional things that could be done include teaching people not to download and run the smiley tools anyway, but that is up for later discussion.
Personally I think it’d be neat to do it in a place like the mall, advertising the event beforehand and having a place to do it. It could become really big, though, since teenage girls and such are stereotypical spyware downloaders. Yet, it would be big in the name of spreading firefox as the word would spread, and it would also get good press.