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    Spyware and Adware

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    Explain the effects of spyware and adware. How has spyware and adware impacted the public's confidence in the security of the Internet? How can an individual protect their computer against spyware and adware?

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    Spyware is computer software that collects personal information about users without their informed consent. The term Spyware is often used interchangeably with adware and malware.

    Personal information is secretly recorded by Spyware using variety of techniques, including:
    - Logging keystrokes,
    - Recording Internet web browsing history, and
    - Scanning documents on the computer's hard disk.

    Purposes range from overtly criminal - theft of passwords and financial details, to the merely annoying - recording Internet search history for targeted advertising, while consuming computer resources.

    The spread of spyware has led to the development of an entire antispyware industry. Its products remove or disable existing spyware on the computers they are installed on and prevent its installation. However, a number of companies have incorporated forms of spyware into their products. These programs are not considered malware, but are still spyware as they watch and observe for advertising purposes. It is debatable whether such 'legitimate' uses of adware/spyware are malware since the user often has no knowledge of these 'legitimate' programs being installed on his/her computer and is generally unaware that these programs are infringing on his/her privacy. In any case, ...

    Solution Summary

    The effects of spyware and adware are explained.