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What you need to know about spyware -- what it really is, how spyware can infect a computer, what spyware does, and how you can protect yourself. A couple of issues ago we told you about a new study by AOL and the National Cyber Security Alliance that found that most PC users think their computers are safe, and are not aware of all the spyware, viruses, trojans, and other 'malware' infecting their PCs. We were especially concerned that 80% had spyware or adware on their systems, with most not even knowing the software had been installed!

So, we've decided to create an Internet ScamBusters Anti-Spyware Resource Center. This article is the first in a series we'll cover in the newsletter and on the website about spyware.

Spyware is a mean villain. Many of us recognize spyware by the name adware, which is a hotly debated topic in the world of cyber security.

But spyware has more than just one face. In fact, adware is one of spyware's least dangerous mutations.

What -- exactly -- is spyware?

Spyware, which is actually 'computer monitoring software,' can take many forms.

Basically, spyware is software that tracks your actions and/or your Internet use. It can capture what you type on your keyboard, including passwords, and send it to the spyware creator.

Its most popular mutation is adware, which is advertisement related monitoring and marketing software. Adware is "a form of spyware that collects information about the user in order to display advertisements in the Web browser based on the information it collects from the user's browsing patterns."

To read the full article and subscribe, visit:

ScamBusters is a public service from Jim and Audri Lanford.
Extract from Internet ScamBusters (tm) - The #1 Publication on Internet Fraud. Issue #101 November 17, 2004

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