A survey of some 1.5 million scans of personal PCs found more than 500,000 system “monitors” in use with an average of 27.5 “traces” on each machine, according to Webroot Software and EarthLink.

The two firms are collaborating on SpyAudit reports to document the growth of so-called spyware.

“The SpyAudit’s popularity shows that consumers want to find out what is on their computers,” said David Moll, Webroot’s CEO, in a statement. “Based on the overwhelming number of spyware traces identified in just four months, we urge consumers to run an audit as soon as possible to determine if they have spyware on their PCs and then take action to manage it.”

For details, see: www.earthlink.net/spyaudit/press