Spyware

Spyware is a type of malware (malicious software) installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge. The presence of spyware is typically hidden from the user and can be difficult to detect. Some spyware, such as keyloggers, may be installed by the owner of a shared, corporate, or public computer intentionally in order to monitor users.

While the term spyware suggests software that monitors a user's computing, the functions of spyware can extend beyond simple monitoring. Spyware can collect almost any type of data, including personal information like Internet surfing habits, user logins, and bank or credit account information. Spyware can also interfere with user control of a computer by installing additional software or redirecting Web browsers. Some spyware can change computer settings, which can result in slow Internet connection speeds, un-authorized changes in browser settings, or changes to software settings.

Sometimes, spyware is included along with genuine software, and may come from an official software vendor. In response to the emergence of spyware, a small industry has sprung up dealing in anti-spyware software. Running anti-spyware software has become a widely recognized element of computer security practices for computers, especially those running Microsoft Windows. A number of jurisdictions have passed anti-spyware laws, which usually target any software that is surreptitiously installed to control a user's computer.

Read more about Spyware:  Routes of Infection, Effects and Behaviors, Remedies and Prevention, History and Development, Rogue Anti-spyware Programs

Other articles related to "spyware":

Spyware - Legal Issues - WebcamGate
... TheftTrack allowed school district employees to secretly remotely activate a tiny webcam embedded in the student's laptop, above the laptop's screen ... That allowed school officials to secretly take photos through the webcam, of whatever was in front of it and in its line of sight, and send the photos to the school's server ...
Contra Virus
... ContraVirus is a Rogue Spyware application that poses as a legitimate anti-spyware program ... scanner to force computer users to pay for the removal of non-existent spyware items ...
Spyvampire - Creator's Description
... scan and remove any files that are infecting your PC with Adware/Spyware automatically! SpyVampire is easy to use ... Spyware Remover runs conveniently automatically removing unwanted Adware and Spyware for safe and private Internet browsing ...
Privacy-invasive Software - Predicted Future Development
... In this setting, spyware could monitor and surveillance for instance what television channels are being watched, when/why users change channel or what DVD movies users have purchased and watch ... This presents us with a probable scenario where spyware is tailored towards these new platforms the technology needed is to a large extent the same as is used in spyware today ... Another interesting area for spyware vendors is the increasing amount of mobile devices being shipped ...
Spylocked - Problems Caused By SpyLocked
... Clicking the icon will take the user to a rogue anti-spyware site ... will intermittently show a message similar to "The system has detected a number of active spyware applications that may impact on the performance of ... Click the icon to get rid of unwanted spyware by downloading an up-to-date anti-spyware solution." SpyLocked may not allow the user to uninstall it by using Add/Remove function and may recreate itself ...