IT professionals often have to deal with clueless
and incompetent
, but the list of pet peeves
goes far beyond just the day-to-day interpersonal communications. The Internet
also comes with its own set of nuisances, which is topic of a recent poll
posted by TechRepublic’s Jason Hiner.

According to the poll results, IT professionals find spyware
the most annoying nuisance on the Internet, achieving 36% of the total 505 votes.
Spam came in second place, with 30% of the votes, and pop-ups and ugly Web
sites were close third and fourth place contenders, as you can see from the
graphic in Figure A.

Figure A

Jason also encouraged the poll respondents to participate in
discussion forum
, asking members to explain their biggest nuisance and if
there was anything else that should be added to the list. Here are some of the

jdclyde: “Spam – because
there is almost never a case where a popup occurs anymore without the user
choosing to have it popup makes this a non-issue. Spyware – with people moving
to FF from IE, there are less spyware programs that can infect your system, so
this has been greatly minimized. Ugly Web sites? You
choose where you go. If it bothers you, chastise the admin or go somewhere

pkr@…: “Silent installs – The worst nuisance is
that you must allow things to be installed on your PC, even if it is a cookie.
It is _MY_ PC, and I want to control what’s put in it. By meticulously registering
what happens in Internet temp folders and other places in your system, and
especially by selecting non-MS stuff, you can regain
some control, but not all.”

Neil Higgins:
Trialware, crippleware,
crapware products – 30-day testing of free download
programs that are mostly useless. Even after spending many a late night
uninstalling them, the b*srds are always there,
lurking, waiting to pounce.”

scatalin@…: “What about phishing?”

b4real@…: “Useless
Authentication – My biggest irritant is [having to create] accounts for stupid
or truly useless information. I understand if you are going to buy something,
but I don’t like having to make an account to see the weather or TV
schedules… After all, I (and surely many others) put in bogus info so I don’t
get SPAM or junk mail – so how valuable is the market research?”

TechRepublic’s sister site,,
recently ran a very similar poll, and the results show an interesting
discrepancy between the concerns of the two different target audiences. While
TechRepublic caters to professional technologists, CNET is more focused on consumers.
The biggest nuisance on the Internet for users was spam, with 26% of
the total 7745 votes, while spyware (the top choice in the TechRepublic poll)
was second with 23% of the votes. Figure B shows the full results.

Figure B

As you can see from the results from both polls, spyware and spam are agreeably
two of the most annoying things on the Internet. Do you agree with your fellow TechRepublic peers that spyware
wins the biggest nuisance award? Take the poll, and then join
the discussion
to add nuisances that we may have missed or to comment on
your biggest Internet pet peeve.

Take our poll

What do you consider the biggest nuisance on the Internet?

 Ugly Web sites