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WHAT IS SPYWARE                   

Spyware is software that gathers a computer user's information through their Internet connection without his or her knowledge and can also makes changes to the computer settings. Most spyware is installed without a person's knowledge although it can also be bundled into free software and can sometimes even be mentioned in the Terms and Conditions or the End User License Agreement of the software being installed.

For the purposes of this site I will include Malware as being a form of Spyware. Malware is short for malicious software and is software designed specifically to damage or disrupt a system.

Adware also falls under the definition of Spyware. Adware is software which will display advertising on your computer in the form of banner ads or pop-ups. A lot of Adware will also monitor your browsing habits so that more targeted ads can be sent to you. Some Adware is used in free software to generate revenue for the company supplying the free software. If this is legitimate Adware it can usually be removed by upgrading to a paid version of the software.

Spyware can take many different forms and is a very serious threat to a computer user. Before you go online you should have up-to-date Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware software.


A lot of people believe that if they have a firewall they are safe. Working at OzEmail, I constantly have customers on the phone trying to tell me that there is no way they have Spyware because they have a firewall and their computer shop told them they were fully protected. That shop has now made money selling the firewall software to someone that doesn't know how to use it and they will make more money when the computer is returned to them to be repaired because it is riddled with Spyware. A firewall can protect you to a certain degree but there is no way it can stop everything and if you don't know how to use it then it will probably do more harm than good.