Find Out What Spyware Is (And Other Related Computer Infections)
Spyware: A tracking application that monitors what you do online without you knowing about it. Spyware "spys" on your online behavior.
Adware: An application that tracks what you do online and personal information about you (like gender, buying preferences, age, etc.) and uses this information to display pop-up or targeted ads on your computer.
Malware: A commonly used abbreviation for malicious software. Malware is any software developed to interupt a computer system.
Keyloggers: Applications that record each and every keystroke you make (this means all your passwords, emails, and other personal information). Keyloggers may also track which sites you visit and even the programs you run on your computer.
Trojans: Like the Trojan Horse, trojans appear to be harmless and sometimes even valuable applications. However, they are actually malicious programs once opened or downloaded. Some of the most advanced trojans allow an attacker to gain access to your computer when it is connected to the internet. In these instances, the attacker can do anything to your computer from a remote location (i.e. delete files, install programs, and control the mouse and keyboard).
Phishing: When an individual or fraudulent company attempts to fool you into thinking they are a well-known, legitimate company. Phishing scams usually try to get you to part with some of your personal information, like important passwords or information about yourself.
A phishing example is a site set-up pretending to be your bank who sends you an email notifying you that you need to login to your account for some reason. If you enter your username and password on their fraudulent site, they will now have your login information and may use it to access your secured area on the real bank site.