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How do you get spyware

Types of spyware

There are two different categories of spyware - surveillance spyware and advertising spyware.
Surveillance spyware is represented by keyloggers, screen capture devices, and Trojans. These are usually used by corporations, private detectives, law enforcement, intelligence agencies, or anyone who may be interested in your activities.
Advertising spyware is software that is installed alongside other software or through ActiveX controls on the Internet, often without your knowledge or without full disclosure, that it will be used for gathering personal information and/or showing the user advertisements. Advertising spyware logs information about the user, possibly gathering passwords, e-mail addresses, Web browsing history, online buying habits, the computer's hardware and software configuration, and personal information.

Adware. Adware is software that displays advertisements. This does not mean that any software that provides advertisements or tracks your on-line activities is adware. For example, you may install a free ad-supported version of software, and you "pay" for the service by agreeing to receive targeted advertisements. If you understand the terms and agree to them, you may have decided that it is a fair tradeoff. You may also have agreed to let the company track your online activities to determine which advertisements to show you. The advertisements may also contain pornographic or other material that you might find inappropriate. The extra processing required to track you or to display advertisements can tax your computer and hurt your computer's performance. To avoid installing adware if you do not wish to "pay" for the service by receiving targeted advertisements, we recommend that you carefully read the software's Terms of Use and End User License Agreement.

Spyware. Spyware is software that is capable of performing certain operations on your computer without your consent, such as displaying advertisements, collecting your personal information, or changing the configuration of your computer. The primary purpose of spyware is to collect demographic and usage information from your computer, usually for advertising purposes. Spyware is usually silently downloaded onto your computer and performs covert activities. Spyware programs are often bundled as unknown components of other programs downloaded from the Internet.

Browser Plug-in. A plug-in is a software program that extends the capabilities of your Internet browser in a specific way. Plug-ins can come in the form of a toolbar that is included in your Web browser, a search or navigation feature, or extra task buttons on the browser. Not all browser plug-ins are harmful and some may be helpful. This category contains mostly dubious browser plug-ins such as "Search Assistant", toolbars, etc. that have been known to transmit user data to their creators or have been installed using covert means. Although most plug-ins are designed to perform necessary functions, some plug-ins are harmful to your computer because they have complete access to your Web browser and can log, modify, and redirect any task you perform.

Browser Redirector. Browser redirectors are programs that change your Web browser settings, often altering designated default start and search pages. In addition, a browser redirector can modify almost every aspect of a Web browser including adding bookmarks, and redirects search traffic to alternative sites.

RAT. A remote administration tool (RAT) is a Trojan type of software that when run, provides an attacker with the capability of remotely controlling your computer over the Internet. A remote administration tool is a tool designed to be used by network administrators to remotely control a computer on the network, usually for support or inventory purposes. It may be used for spying purposes. The attacker usually has full access to functions on your computer.

Keylogger. Commercial keylogger is a program designed to monitor user activity. It may be used with or without consent. Since it is sold commercially, most anti-virus vendors do not detect it. A keylogger program runs in the background, recording all your keystrokes to a file. Once keystrokes are logged, they are hidden on your computer for later retrieval, or shipped secretly to the attacker through email or over the Internet.

Remote Installer. A remote installer is a program that is installed on your computer without your knowledge. Once the program is installed it can connect to a remote server and download additional programs and files, installing them on the computer without your knowledge.

Commercial Keylogger. A commercial keylogger is a program that is installed by one computer user of a computer to explicitly monitor the activity of other users. These types of programs can be installed using stealth tactics to hide themselves from other users. These programs can be purchased from commercial organizations.

Dialer. A dialer is software that dials a phone number using your computer's modem. It is often used by pornographic vendors. Once dialer software is downloaded, the user is disconnected from his/her modem's usual Internet service provider, is connected to another phone number and is then billed. While dialers do not spy on users they are malevolent in nature because they can cause huge financial harm to the victim.

Low Risk Adware. Low risk adware is an adware application that is designed to display advertisements through pop-up windows. However, this type of adware program is installed with your knowledge and conforms to the program's End User Licensing Agreement which is usually presented to you prior to download and during installation. A low risk adware program will not transmit personal or identifiable information.

File Sharing Program. File sharing programs, also known as peer-to-peer, are popular applications used to share files of any type such as movies and music across the Internet. Many freeware and shareware file sharing programs install different types of adware and even some spyware software with them. Although most file sharing programs are not harmful, the adware and spyware programs contained in their bundle could be.

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