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Spyware Spyware Adware Malware information

Spyware are unethical programs that covertly gather user information through an internet connection without the user's knowledge. This is usually done for advertising purposes. When installed on a local computer, the spyware software monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits this information to someone else without the user's knowledge. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers and log-in details.
In more general terms, Spyware can also refer to other internet monitoring applications such as cookies which the user has accepted, but is unaware of the extent of the data collected and has not understood the extent of its distribution to third parties.

Spyware software is frequently encountered bundled within freeware or shareware programs that can be downloaded from the Internet. Licensing agreements that accompany these software downloads may warn the user that a spyware program will be installed along with the requested software (although they may not use the term spyware), but most users fail to read such agreements thoroughly enough to notice this because it is often couched in lengthy, hard-to-read legal disclaimers.

Because spyware tend to be independent executable programs, they have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors, install other spyware programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser, consistently relaying this information back to the spyware author who will either use it for advertising/marketing purposes or sell the information to another party.

It is very important to scan for Spyware regularly and remove it, not just because it is an invasion of your privacy but also because the spyware software uses memory and system resources, and also consumes bandwidth as it sends information back to the spyware's home base via the user's Internet connection. So spyware applications running in the background will slow computer and internet access, and can cause system crashes and general system instability

Free Spyware Scanners
There are many free spyware scanning programs available on the internet. Learn more about them on our Spyware Removal page.

Spyware Examples

  • Keyloggers - eg SpyAnytime
  • Form Fillers - eg GATOR
  • Trackware - eg n-CASE
  • Downloader - eg Exploit
  • Cookies
  • Adware
  • Hijackers
  • The more potentially sinister forms of Spyware (see also Malware) such as Keyloggers can monitor all sorts of user activity on a local pc and detect passwords, log-in details, networking details etc and transmit them covertly when the user is online.

    Gator eWallet®
    This useful online companion that fills out forms and remembers passwords is provided free by GAIN Publishing. As part of the agreement to receive it free, you have to accept the GAIN network adverts and software which track your internet movements and then displays pop up adverts on your computer screen based on your online behaviour. Although Gator isn't much of a nuisance, it does fall into a group of software known as spyware, sending information about buying habits, etc. for information purposes. For this reason, many people won't use it and want to remove it. The Gator company has recently changed their name to Claria.

    To learn how to remove Gator, see Spyware Removal

    Keylogger Software
    An example of this is SpyAnytime™ and 007 Spy Software.
    "These keylogger spy software allow you to secretly monitor and record user's activities on computer, such as web sites visited, windows opened, application executed, Internet chats, every key pressed, Email, and even take snapshots of the entire Windows desktop at set intervals, just like a invisible surveillance camera pointed directly at your computer monitor. With this powerful keylogger spy software, you can spy on your spouse, kids, employees, or any people you are concerned about."

    For Anti-Keyloggers and keylogger removal go to Spyware Removal

    Trackware
    n-CASE™ is a Comparison Alternative Shopping Engine developed by 180Solutions inc. n-CASE is a permission based search assistant application that sponsors free software and content sites.
    n-CASE seems to be installed by an ActiveX drive-by download or bundled in with several file sharing programs. It transmits logs of every URL visited. It will cause pop-up advertisements and can add shortcut items to the Start-up or Desktop, and also update itself.

    According to 180Solutions inc. "n-CASE is a small application that is downloaded to your computer and runs in the background looking to show websites with information, offers and products that match keywords you are looking for when either shopping or searching online"

    If you have n-CASE installed, then you have either downloaded free sponsored software or visited a website sponsored by n-CASE. Removing n-CASE might remove or cripple software applications you like and use everyday.

    More information about n-CASE from 180 Solutions, Inc.

    Remove n-CASE we have found that Spyware Nuker has been effective in identifying and removing n-CASE from our registry.
    Read more about Spyware Removal.


    Downloaders
    Exploit is a downloader. The Exploit application contacts its controlling servers and downloads and executes applications on your computer, including adult programs.


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    Spyware definition