Sunday, November 12, 2006

Spyware explained.

Spyware is a broad category of software designed to intercept or take partial control of a computer's operation without the informed consent of that machine's owner or legitimate user.

It has also come to refer more broadly to software that subverts the computer's operation for the benefit of a third party.

Spyware can collect many different types of information about a user. More benign programs can attempt to track what types of websites a user visits and send this information to an advertisement agency.

More malicious versions can try to record what a user types to try to intercept passwords or credit card numbers.

Yet other versions simply launch popup advertisements. While some forms of spyware can certainly be considered malicious, some on the other hand certainly are not, and are more passive in nature by just watching, observing, and collecting information.

Many legitimate companies are now beginning to incorporate forms of spyware, and adware into their software, mainly for purposes of advertisement. While these types of programs are not to be considered spyware in the most malicious sense, they are still spyware in the sense of watching, and observing, with advertisement in mind, making them a form of what is called adware.

Courtesy: Wikipedia

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