Spyware and adware are non-viral applications (surveillance tools) that are loaded without the user's knowledge and can monitor computer activity including keystroke tracking and capture, email logging, instant message usage and snapshots. Spyware comes in many shapes and sizes: some are simply an annoyance while others threaten security. Here are some common types of spyware:
- Spyware - tracks information about you, your computer, and your surfing habits.
- Adware - displays unwanted advertising that can slow your computer to a crawl.
- Keyloggers - record every keystroke you make, then steal your passwords and other personal data.
- Browser Hijackers - can change your homepage and search results.
- Remote Access Trojans (RATS) - allows attackers to remotely control your computer.