Glossary
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Please read the disclaimer for further information about these definitions.



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.



A Browser Helper Object (BHO) is an application that adds functionality to your Internet browser, such as a toolbar within Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) that provides additional functionality. However, malicious BHOs 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 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.



Cookies can be downloaded onto your computer when you visit certain web sites. In many cases, cookies are designed to personalize a web site and improve its functionality for the user's benefit, as they can retain settings for when you next visit the site. For example, some on-line stores may use cookies to keep track of items you have placed into a 'shopping basket'. In some instances, however, cookies can be used to consolidate and track your behavior across different web sites, providing third parties with information about your web browsing habits (see 'malicious cookies').



Generally, this is software 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.



An interconnected system of networks consisting of Wide Area Networks (WANs) and Local Area Networks (LANs) that connects computers around the world by means of the TCP/IP protocol (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol).



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 such information, which could include personal and password details that you have typed into your computer for subsequent retrieval by third-parties.



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.



Malicious cookies are cookies that are designed to benefit third parties. These types of cookies can track your movements on the Internet and collect personal information along the way (often without your consent or knowledge). Malicious cookies can be used to let spammers know what type of advertising to send you, based on the personal information gathered, and they can share this information with other web sites.



Malicious software, also known as 'malware', is a generic term used to encompass malicious spyware, including adware, Trojans, browser hijackers, keyloggers, dialers and tracking cookies.



Malware is a contraction of 'malicious software', which is a generic term used to encompass malicious spyware, including adware, Trojans, browser hijackers, keyloggers, dialers and tracking cookies.



Generally, any network that uses direct connections between client computers (i.e. peers) and does not rely on dedicated servers for communication. Such software is used for sharing files between client computers.



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 bundled 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 are used to consolidate and track your behavior across different web sites, providing third parties with information about your web browsing habits (see also 'malicious cookies').



Like spyware, Trojans (also known as Trojan horses) can slip into your computer system and run without your knowledge. They are capable of possessing a variety of functions. For example, some Trojans 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.



WinSock (short for Windows Sockets) provides the interface between the Windows operating system and TCP/IP.



The text-based and graphics-based hypertext documents (i.e. documents that allow user-interaction) residing on all Internet servers around the world, which can be accessed by a simple point-and-click system. The World Wide Web uses the HTTP protocol.