What is Spyware?
The term Spyware refers to software that gathers personal information from your computer, sometimes without your knowledge. The information is often used for advertising purposes. Spyware may cause your computer to slow down or encounter errors. Spyware has also been known to cause unwanted pop-up advertisements, an inability to connect to the Internet, and problems printing.
Spyware applications can be bundled as a hidden component of freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Once installed, Spyware can monitor your activity on the Internet and transmit that information to a third party. Some forms of Spyware can gather information about e-mail addresses, passwords, and even credit card numbers.
A common way to get Spyware is through installation of file-swapping programs that are used to download music and movies from the Internet.
“Spyware can gain access to a system through every day tools such as web browsers when you search the Internet. "Drive-by" downloads is a common method of infiltration (simply visiting a Web page or clicking on a link in an email) as is instant messaging (IM), streaming audio and video and a variety of third party programs such as peer to peer file sharing and other "freeware". Users are typically unaware of the dangers of installing such programs.” From Zone Labs website
In addition, Sexware and Adware either provide your computer with unwanted software that has your computer work in ways that you do not want. Sexware will direct you to pornographic sites or download porn. Adware produces ads or takes you to sites that you do not want to go to.
BCS has joined others in the Computer Industry to identify all of this type of pest as Malware because is malicious and does things that the owner of the computer does not know about and/or steals information.
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