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For the past couple of years there has been a new threat introduced to your computer that anti virus software does not as of yet remove. This software is developed to track your movements on the Internet, create statistics of what you do on your computer, or even worse, actually hijack your web connections to direct you to pages that you did not ask for. These types of programs are called Spyware, Browser Hijackers, and Dialers.
Before we define Spyware, Hijackers and Dialers it is important to understand another type of program called Adware. Adware are programs that are usually free, otherwise known as Freeware, that have advertisements built into the software. That means when you run the software, it will pull down advertisements from the Internet and display them somewhere in the software. Most of these types of software allow you to register the software, by paying some fee, in order to remove the ads.
Spyware, on the other hand, are pieces of software that are advertised as Freeware or Adware but that install in your computer, generally without your knowledge, other programs that run in the background collecting data about what web sites you go to, your personal information, the games you play, the software you use, etc, all without your permission. The software will then send this information back to the creator's servers where it is collected.