Typically, adware components install alongside a shareware or freeware application and bring targeted advertisements to your computer. These advertisements create revenue for the software developer. Adware displays web-based advertisements through pop-up windows or through annoying advertising banners.
Browser Helper Object (BHO)
A Browser Helper Object (BHO) may appear as a helpful browser toolbar within Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE). Malicious BHO's can change your default home page to point to some other site or send histories of your web-browsing habits to third-parties for the purposes of targeted advertising.
Browser Hijackers
Browser hijackers can take control of your web browser. They may alter your browser settings or change your default home page to point to some other site and they are capable of sending personal information to third-parties. They may not be detected by firewall software as they are capable of appearing as part of IE itself. Due to the variety of functions a browser hijacker can possess, it can be categorized as a Trojan.
Generally, this is software that is installed on your PC that dials a phone number. some dialers connect to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and are designed to provide genuine assistance. However, malicious dialers can attempt to connect you to long-distance or toll numbers without your consent, resulting in expensive phone bills.
Also known as 'key loggers' or 'keystroke loggers', these are programs that run in the background on your computer and are capable of recording every keystroke you make on your keyboard. Keyloggers can store information, which could very well include personal details and passwords that you have typed into your computer, such that it can later be retrieved by third-parties.
Layered Service Provider (LSP)
LSPs are pieces of code that are used to monitor, intercept and control communication between WinSock and the Internet application that calls WinSock (e.g. your Internet Browser). Malicious LSPs can be used to steal information that you submit through the Internet.
A generic term used to encompass malicious spyware, including adware, Trojans, browser hijackers, keyloggers, dialers and tracking cookies.
A stealthy application that makes use of your Internet connection, gathering and transmitting information on various activities you conduct on your computer to third-parties. This information is often collected and sent without your knowledge or consent. Like adware, spyware often installs as a third-party component bundles with a freeware or shareware application, which can make the distinction between the two somewhat ambiguous. In some places on the Internet, you may also see 'Spyware' used as a generic term to encompass malware.
Tracking Cookies
Internet browsers write and read cookies, which are small text files with small amounts of data (such as web site settings) which are placed onto your computer by visiting certain web sites. In many cases, cookies provide a benefit to users as they can retain settings for when you next visit a web site. In some instances, however, cookies are used to consolidate and track your behaviour across different web sites, providing marketers with information about your web browsing habits.
Like spyware, Trojans (also known as Trojan horses) can slip into your system and run without your knowledge. They are capable of possessing a variety of functions. For example, some use your computer's modem to dial long-distance or toll numbers (like a dialer), potentially generating expensive phone bills. Unlike viruses and worms, Trojans do not replicate themselves.

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