The term spyware refers to software which hides itself on a computer while gathering information about the user and the users’ internet browsing habits. Spyware is also known to alter configuration settings on the host computer without obtaining the user of that computers consent. Spyware is most commonly associated with adware which will display advertising on the host computer whether the user of that computer has consented to it or not.

Spyware programs are known to also change settings such as your internet browser homepage, and also add on unwanted components to your internet browser. Because of the hidden nature of spyware it can often be very difficult to change settings back to their original state.

Spyware can find its way onto a computer in many fashions, but the most common way is for it to be installed covertly while the user is installing another programme. File sharing programmes and other free to download programmes are possibly the highest risk sources, especially if the user fails to read the licence agreement or privacy statement thoroughly.

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