Lessons From McAfee's S.P.A.M. Experiment

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Erectile dysfunction drugs and Rolex watches

Participants were given credit cards to make purchases, but not surprisingly, none of them received their erectile dysfunction drugs or Rolex watches. One participant put her real address in replies to some of her spam, and found paper junk mail in her mailbox went up.

Mooney said her 17-year-old son participated in the program and got an education as well on what spam does. Being in the experiment "Opened the dialogue with the kids on what dangers are out there," she said. "They got to see firsthand what happens to your computer and what can happen in a worst case scenario."

McAfee is planning on a second "season" of the S.P.A.M. Experiment some time in the future. Marcus said he'd like to look closer at the mobile side of things, and go further down the road of ordering the products being peddled.

He also wants to make sure they don't wipe the computers. Participants reported a severe degradation in their computers, but when the experiment was over, McAfee sent them a utility to wipe the computer and reinstall it fresh, something he regrets because the company didn't have a chance to examine those laptops closely.

The participants' experiences are still available on a blog" while the final report from McAfee has just been posted.

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