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Linda 15th June 2005 12:45 PM

What is Spyware?
John Mussi has a quick article on how to tell if spyware is on your computer

"Spyware (also referred to as Adware or Malware) is software that is installed on your computer without your consent. Spyware software monitors or controls your computer use. It may be used to send you pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites, monitor your Internet surfing, or record your keystrokes, which, in turn, could lead to identity theft."

Catch it @

StupidScript 18th July 2005 07:36 PM


Unsolicited program that "spies" on computer activity, including keystrokes, websites visited, passwords entered and other similar activities.

Unsolicited program that delivers advertisements to a desktop.

Unsolicited program that interferes with proper computer functionality, including crashing the system, redirecting to unintended website destinations and other similar functions.

Unsolicited program that performs any number of functions and disturbances, including installing any of the above types of program, sending bulk email from your computer to an address list gleaned from your computer's contents and many other similar functions. A virus is distinct from the other families of "attack programs" (as above) in that it is designed to propagate itself in one or more of a number of ways, including attaching a clone of itself to the above-mentioned bulk emails and other methods.

Program (not necessarily unsolicited) that often performs similarly to a virus with one main difference: where a virus relies on a fair amount of luck in propagating (i.e. it needs valid email addresses and people willing to activate the program on receipt in order to grow), a worm is more directed in that it will typically include an algorithm in its programming that allows it to successfully target a network.

For example, a virus attaches itself to an outgoing email sent to who-knows-who in the hopes that the recipient will launch the attached application and continue its propagation. A worm will typically attempt to send clones of itself to specific network addresses within the range of its current host, i.e. host is infected with the worm, which tries to send itself to every other machine on that network (,, etc.). Otherwise, a worm is just as capable of delivering a nasty "payload" as is a virus.

The first "attack program" ever launched was a worm-type program written and released onto the fledgling network on November 1, 1988 (Black Thursday) by a guy who just wanted a program to keep his computer memory clean. His program went through his filesystem, disk by disk, deleting files that were over a certain age. Simple enough. He "accidentally" released the "Internet Worm" onto the network by loading it from a floppy (5-1/4") disk into the public M.I.T. Arpanet interface in Massachusetts, where it proceeded to move through the network ... deleting files that were over a certain age ... and crippling over 10% of the servers connected at the time. A good example of a worm written for valuable purposes but poison in any other environment.


LewisKent 25th March 2015 02:38 AM

Spyware is a kind of tracking software that aids in gathering information about a person or organization without their knowledge. It is classified into four types: Trojans, adware, tracking cookies and system monitors. If you want to protect your PC from spyware, then you can use any good antivirus software.

kdaniel171 17th April 2015 03:43 PM

Spyware is software that hides itself somewhere on your computer collecting information about you and what you do on the internet.
Typically, spyware is installed when a user installs a piece of free software that they actually wanted.

geeksonrepair 21st June 2016 06:15 AM

Spyware is a type of malware which is installed in the owner computer to steal his/her private information.It is hidden form the user in order to collect private information such as: passwords and other valuable data.

jameswarner 17th February 2017 02:11 AM

Spyware software to be installed for safe site that reason most of time to pass as tracking software. In the workplace such software may be insert on collective laptops to handling employee surfing activities.

blazerod 2nd March 2017 03:50 PM

Programs that secretly record what you do on your computer are called spyware. They can be used for some perfectly legitimate purposes, but the majority of spyware is malicious. Its aim is usually to capture passwords, banking credentials and credit card details - and send them over the internet to fraudsters.

jamesbush 30th March 2018 07:52 AM

Spyware is software that is specifically designed to A) hide its presence and B) Track and record everything you do on your computer and C) Report this activity to a master. Spyware could be hardware or software and it often implanted as Trojan software, disguised as something else. As hardware it could be a device attached to a computer or network that records data traffics, web movements or user names passwords like a key logger.

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