Spy Software: What Is It?

Adware and other malware

The internet would be nothing if there was no speedy transfer of massive amounts of data. However, this also works in reverse, a fact that is relevant when it comes to all network security breaches and malicious software such as spy software. In fact, its quite likely that spy software and viruses also follow Moores law (i.e. their efficiency doubles every eighteen months).

Spy software is used very often (though not exclusively) to create popups and similar nuisances. As such it is commonly called adware.


Adware uses spyware to annoy you automatically, sort of like a telephone solicitor that pops up every time you perform a certain action (such as open a browser window) on your computer. These do not necessarily require an action such as this. If theres a nice thing we can say about adware, its that you can kill it with impunity.

Some things that adware can be used for:
  • changing your browsers homepage
  • installing unwanted toolbars or create popups that you do not want
  • adding icons to your system tray or toolbar
  • giving you error messages that are only hyperlinks to a sales site

And there are other creatively detrimental applications for adware. In general, adwares effects are negative though not absolutely dire. Most adware is a bothersome waste of your time.

Adware can cause you to lose time a number of ways. Most obviously, it can slow you down as you are trying to work. Some particularly evil adware will be designed to not allow you to close the window or it will open other windows even as you try to close the one it is in. Adware also slows down the operation of your machine by taking up RAM to open and operate. It also uses internet bandwidth to send information.

Adware is often a legal, legitimate way for companies to try and generate revenue when they give you things that seem to be free. By and large, adware is an innocuous use of spyware. Other forms can be more dangerous.

Other forms of Spyware

Spyware has a number of nefarious applications. Some spyware can simply be used to monitor your computer activity, as its name would indicate. This can take the form of simple keystroke logging. This can be very dangerous, as in the case of someone trying to gather online banking information from users, for example.

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