Guide 2 Spyware - Detect & Remove Spyware

   
Guide to Spyware

Basic Information
 What Is Spyware?
 Spyware & Adware Facts
 How Harmful?
 Spyware Detection
 Spyware Removal
 False Positives
 Spyware FAQ

Software

Books

Links


 
 














































 

Guide 2 Spyware   >   What Is Spyware?

What Is Spyware?


Malware is software (from Malicious Software) that is designed to infiltrate a person's computer system without their informed consent and usually performs activities which the owner of the computer would consider unwanted at best, or downright harmful at worst.

Some common programs that many people classify as malware include (note: some programs may fall into more than one category, and different people use slightly different definitions):
  • Viruses - programs that copy themselves from computer to computer often causing damage along the way.

  • Trojans - programs that appear to benign or even helpful, but which actually perform a malicious function.

  • Dialers - programs that cause a person's computer to make telephone calls (often unauthorized telephone calls) to premium rate numbers.

  • Key Loggers - programs that record a user's keystrokes or screen activities and forward the information to a third party. This information may include confidential or personal details such as passwords, credit card numbers, etc.

  • Unauthorized Adware - programs that cause adverts, often in the form of pop-ups, to be displayed on a user's computer, and which have been installed without the user's consent (of course if a computer-owner chooses to install a program that displays adverts on his computer, that is his personal choice, and such a program would not be classified as malware).

  • Spyware - programs that, without authorization, collect personal information about the user, such as web sites visited, etc. (of course if a computer-owner knowingly chooses to provide access to certain personal information, that is his personal choice, and software involved in such transactions would not be classified as malware).
In addition, the term "Spyware" is often used generically to refer to those forms of malware which are designed to generate revenue for their perpetrators (i.e. diallers, key loggers, unauthorized adware, and spyware).

A computer can become infected with malware in a variety of different ways, including:
  1. Some websites include malicious code that exploits bugs in users' web browsers, such that software can be downloaded and installed in the background without the users' knowledge or consent.

  2. Some websites use social engineering tricks to get the user to agree to downloading software. For example, a website may present the user with a blizzard of pop-ups, each of which has to be dismissed by clicking "Yes", an in the middle of this blizzard is the dialog box asking if the user wishes to download and install some spyware software ("Yes" or "No"), tricking many people into agreeing to install the spyware.

  3. Some malware programs spread by spam. For example, if one person's computer is infected, the program may send emails to everybody in that person's address book with a copy of itself attached and labelled as something else.

  4. Sometimes adware (or even spyware) programs have been bundled with other applications. For example, a user may download or install one particular program, and later find that adware or spyware was installed on their computer too!

    • In some cases, part of the bargain of getting the free or cheap software is to allow adverts to be shown on your computer in return. If the software is clearly labelled as containing advertising of this type, and the user knows and agrees, then that is of course the user's choice. Software containing advertising of this type, should not therefore be labelled as "malware".

    • In other cases, it has been known for software authors to actively conceal the fact that their software displays adverts, and/or to hinder the removal of the advertising software even if the application that it came with is removed.

    • There are also of course many difficult issues and some grey areas.

      For example:

      • How clear does the labelling of software containing advertising have to be?
      • How easy does the uninstallation of the advertising software have to be?
      • Can a person who is not the owner of the computer (for example a teenager using instant messaging software) properly consent to the installation of adware?

      We are not going to try and answer all these questions, but it's something that both users and software-developers need to think more seriously about in future. Be aware, these matter are not just technical issues, but often social and psychological ones too - for example, we all know that something can be absolutely clear for one person, yet remain totally confusing and opaque to another.


 
       
Links
 Anti Spam Downloads
 Anti Spam Software
 Anti Spyware eBooks
 Anti Spyware Software
 Anti Virus Software
 Anti Virus eBooks
 Backup Downloads
 Backup Software
 Crime Prevention eBooks
 Identity Theft Guide
 Privacy Protection Downloads
 Security Downloads
 Security eBooks


 
 
 
 

 
 
Our company has no opinion or comment about which particular programs should or should not be classified as spyware or malware.

Copyright © 2007-2018, Answers 2000 Limited

CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE COMES FROM AMAZON SERVICES LLC. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.
CERTAIN CONTENT THAT APPEARS ON THIS SITE,COMES FROM AMAZON EU S. r.l. THIS CONTENT IS PROVIDED 'AS IS' AND IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE OR REMOVAL AT ANY TIME.

Disclosure: Our company's websites' content (including this website's content) includes advertisements for our own company's websites, products, and services, and for other organization's websites, products, and services. In the case of links to other organization's websites, our company may receive a payment, (1) if you purchase products or services, or (2) if you sign-up for third party offers, after following links from this website. Unless specifically otherwise stated, information about other organization's products and services, is based on information provided by that organization, the product/service vendor, and/or publicly available information - and should not be taken to mean that we have used the product/service in question. Additionally, our company's websites contain some adverts which we are paid to display, but whose content is not selected by us, such as Google AdSense ads. For more detailed information, please see Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

Our sites use cookies, some of which may already be set on your computer. Use of our site constitutes consent for this. For details, please see Privacy.

Click privacy for information about our company's privacy, data collection and data retention policies, and your rights.

Contact Us   Privacy   Terms of Use   Advertising/Endorsements Disclosures

In Association With Amazon.com
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
In Association With Amazon.co.uk
Answers 2000 Limited is a participant in the Amazon EU Associates Programme, an affiliate advertising programme designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.co.uk.
As an Amazon Associate, our company earns from qualifying purchases. Amazon, the Amazon logo, Endless, and the Endless logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.
All trademarks are property of their respective owners.
All third party content and adverts are copyright of their respective owners.