A Spyware as the name suggest is a program used to spy on the computer system. This program will try to get all the confidential and sensitive information such as your bank account numbers, passwords etc. Then this confidential data is misused to access user’s accounts. Spyware can also change the configuration of your computer, generally without obtaining your consent first.
There are a number of ways Spyware or other unwanted software can get on to computer. A common trick is to covertly install the software during the installation of other software that is being downloaded such as music or video or a file-sharing program.
Once installed, the Spyware monitors user activity on the Internet and transmits that information in the background to someone else. Spyware can also gather information about e-mail addresses and even passwords and credit card numbers.
SpyWare sends information back to the spy ware’s home base via the user’s Internet connection, thus it eats user’s internet bandwidth. SpyWare applications running in the background can lead to system crashes or general system instability as they use memory and system resources of the user’s computer.
SpyWare have the ability to monitor keystrokes, scan files on the hard drive, snoop other applications, such as chat programs or word processors. It also installs other SpyWare programs, read cookies, change the default home page on the Web browser. While doing so, it consistently relays this information back to the SpyWare author who will either sell the information to another party or use it for advertising/marketing purposes.
Some of the common Spywares are CoolWebSearch, Internet optimizer and Zango