A work related email I received the other day:
thank you Corey you are the best
That smiley is courtesy of the HotBar. Our network at work is ripe with these other spyware apps that our users willfully install. The latest trend in spyware is to create something that people could plausible want, make it literally viral (clicking on the image in an email will either install automatically or prompt to install depending on security settings), and track and spy and muck up the workstation and profit.
While it is not normally part of my job to work on desktop stuff, I did make some time to clean up a few PCs the other day and I heard that user was upset that I removed the Hotbar and they put it right back again!
My niece had a very similar spyware program installed and I convinced her to try use spyware free, paid-for product called Emoticons Mail from MaxPlugs, that I paid $22 for. I don’t think I could make the case that we should spend money on a program to generate smiley faces at work, but assuming threatening and training don’t work the only choice will be to move everyone to a least privilege model and take away the rights to install anything at all.
I had to lobby for a month to get Google toolbar, only after my boss sent an email verifying it saves me time, critical to how I work and research etc. I’m pretty pretty jealous over that little clapping guy.