The term Malware is
used to describe any program that is designed to
do harm, although there are different schools of
thought as to what is actually harmful.
Viruses, Trojans, Pop-Ups, and even spam have
all qualified as computer
There are two
distinct flavors of Adware. Software supported
with advertising is one form or the other more
malicious sort. The latter is often termed an
Adware Virus whereas the first is just called
The first could
be a useful utility released free of charge but
using advertising to generate revenue to support
development - similar to TV advertisements. You
do not have to watch but if you do you get
commercials along with content. Often this type
of software is also available in an
advertisement free version for a modest price.
malicious flavor of Adware virus monitors your
browsing and then delivers so called targeted
advertisements. This category of software may be
considered a type of spyware, especially if it's
installed without your knowing and agreement.
When does adware
become spyware - well that a somewhat gray area.
A number of software vendors claim that
disclosing the inclusion of this type of
software in the user agreement grants legal
consent for its installation. Having said that,
how many of us actually read the small print
before installing software!
A Spyware virus
on the other hand, can have a more insidious
meaning. The term Spyware, can refer to software
which does much more than simply monitor a
user's browsing habits. It can often redirect
your browser to completely different sites the
majority of which are advertising sites.
This form of
Spyware virus is nearly always installed without
the user's knowledge and hidden within another
program. It can also arrive as the payload of a
worm or virus. It's also illegal in many
countries. In the U.S. the Federal Trade
Commission or FTC has indicted, and in some
cases convicted, several purveyors.
suppliers will require that the user install
spyware as part of a package. Its inclusion is
declared in the user agreement but users do not
have the option of not installing it. If the
user wants the main program they have to install
the spyware as well. File sharing utilities like
Kazaa or BearShare are notorious for this
installed with these, and many other, programs
collect information in respect of web browsing
habits and then deliver targeted advertising to
the user. Targeted advertising is designed to be
presented to specific groups, selected by
analyzing their buying or browsing habits.
Selections are made by discovering gender, age
or frequently visited sites or by various other
argue that it does not collect specific personal
information and there is an active debate as to
whether it constitutes legitimate market
analysis or a violation of personal privacy..
The majority of
users find it annoying and intrusive. However,
advertisers claim it to be the best way to
deliver products and services to potential new
customers who may actually end up buying what is
offered. Legally, they assert, it is just
another form of free speech. Users on the other
hand respond that the advertisers free speech
does not reach to their browser or email Inbox.
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