- Spyware is Internet jargon for Advertising Supported software (Adware).
- It is a way for shareware authors to make money from a product, other than by selling it to the users.
- Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements (called adware) or software that tracks personal or sensitive information.
- Spyware applications are typically bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet; however, it should be noted that the majority of shareware and freeware applications do not come with spyware.
- Spyware is similar to a Trojan horse in that users unwittingly install the product when they install something else and a very common way to become a victim of spyware is to download certain peer-to-peer file swapping products that are available today.
- Aside from the questions of ethics and privacy, spyware steals from the user by using the computer's memory resources and also by eating bandwidth as it sends information back to the spyware's home base via the user's Internet connection which can lead to system crashes or general system instability.
- Spyware exists as independent executable programs and they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other spyware programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the spyware author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.
- Spyware is most often downloaded by the user as part of an add-on to a legitimate download (such as a toolbar) or included as part of a freeware or shareware program.
- To detect spyware, computer users have found several practices useful in addition to installing anti-spyware programs. Many users have installed a web browser other than Internet Explorer, such as Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Though no browser is completely safe, Internet Explorer is at a greater risk for spyware infection due to its large user base as well as vulnerabilities such as ActiveX.
- Sometimes, spyware is included along with genuine software, and may come from a malicious website.
- In German-speaking countries, spyware used or made by the government is sometimes called govware or Govware which is typically a trojan horse software used to intercept communications from the target computer. Some countries like Switzerland and Germany have a legal framework governing the use of such software. In the US, the term policeware has been used for similar purposes.
- For the authors, we use SUPERAntiSpyware Free 6.0.1186 which is an antispyware software that scans your computer for known Spyware, Adware, Malware, Trojans, Dialers, Worms, KeyLoggers, HiJackers and many other types of threats, and allows you to remove or quarantine them. Download the file (browse through the references or Google it) and use this key (210-208-6416) for a lifetime professional subscription.
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