There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the difference is between "adware" and "spyware". Lets set the record straight with a brief description of what each one is.
Adware Any software application that has the ability to display advertisements on your computer. Some adware may track your Web surfing habits. These advertisements may be displayed in many forms, including, but not limited to, pop-up, pop-under, and banner advertisements. Adware may slow your Web browser's performance. Worst case scenario: Some adware may have the ability to download third party software programs on your computer without your knowledge or consent.
Spyware Software that transmits information back to a third party without notifying the user. It is also commonly referred to as malware, trackware, hijackware, scumware, snoopware or thiefware. Some privacy advocates also call legitimate access control, filtering, Internet monitoring, password recovery, security or surveillance software "spyware" because it could be used without notifying the user.
Slow Internet access: Spyware slows your connection down by importing information like pop-up ads, while sending out information such as user activity, bank account numbers etc.Less productive computer: Spyware can grossly slow a PC down because it operates in the background, taking up valuable resources. Other spyware applications store advertising on a computer's hard drive.
More pop-up ads: Adware uses something called a tracking cookie. Cookies that sit on your PC serve pop-up ads related to the site you are visiting, your personal information or online activities. True to form, the more cookies you have on your system, the more pop-ups you'll get.
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... emails from unknown senders and remain wary of any attachments. It is a good idea to use an email client that has advanced junk mail controls such as Mozilla's Thunderbird which includes an adaptive filter that learns what you deem spam and moves those emails to a junk folder. Alternatively, you can use a standalone spam killing utility that will work along side your current email client.
Mind where you surf
Try to keep away from unscrupulous websites such as those that promote pirated software and adult material. These sites are known for their participation in spreading spyware. File sharing software You need to keep two things in mind when installing file sharing software. The first is that many sharing programs include spyware in their own installation. The second is that you can never be sure that what you are downloading is spyware free. You have been warned!
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