What is Spyware……
Spyware refers to programs that use your Internet connection to send information from your personal computer to some other computer, normally without your knowledge or permission. Most often this information is a record of your ongoing browsing habits, downloads, or it could be more personal data like your name and address.
The concern with spyware, whether its presence is disclosed or not, and the reason it is universally reviled by so many, is that the user cannot verify or monitor what is actually being gathered and sent from their computer. There is no built-in mechanism for the user to oversee the process and no checks-and-balances in place, legally or otherwise to ensure the security of, or confirm just how the information is being used. Spyware is virtually unregulated. Add to this unfavorable scenario the fact that spyware uses personal resources: your bandwidth, processing power, and memory, to perform work for an outside entity at the expense of your privacy. Still, some spyware programs like RealPlayer and KaZaA are very popular.
It is estimated that 90% of all computers on the Internet are infected with spyware.
You can unknowingly install spyware when you install new software, most commonly freeware or shareware P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing programs. Many of these programs are intended to track your Internet browsing habits, such as frequented sites and favorite downloads, and then provide advertising companies with marketing data.
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