Spyware List and InformationSpyware is one of the nastiest aspects of the web. Spyware is the name for software that gets installed on your computer - usually without your permission - and then monitors what you do. It can be used to create pop-ups automatically, to replace ads on websites with the spyware's ads, send personal information to another computer and even steal things off your hard drive. Spyware which focusses on making ads show on your computer is called 'adware'.
Spyware usually comes along as an unknown aspect of software you want to download. You might hear about a fun new game from a website and decide to download the game. When you install the game, it secretly installs the spyware too, without telling you. The next thing you know, your credit card information and other vital information on your hard drive is being forwarded off to China for hackers to enjoy.
You might think that a firewall will help you with spyware - but it's important to remember that spyware usually doesn't "invade" your system. It's not that a website hacks into your computer to do this. You *voluntarily* download something and install it. Your computer thinks that you are doing something that you approve of. It won't stop you from installing the game, if that is your choice! It can't tell the difference between a tetris game that is fun and the spyware piece of it that has other purposes.
It is critical that you are 100% sure about the source of EVERY software product you download and install. It is also important that you run daily anti-virus checks. Most anti-virus software packages will also check for spyware. Make sure that your chosen anti-virus software knows about spyware and is diligent about updating its list. Spyware makers are creating new programs every day - so you have to be just as up to date in your protection!
Microsoft Windows Defender Anti-Spyware Software