The terms “spyware” and “adware” apply to several different technologies. The two important things to know about them are that:
- They can download themselves onto your device without your permission (typically when you visit an unsafe website or via an attachment)
- They can make your computer do things you don’t want it to do, such as as opening an advertisement you didn’t want to see. In the worst cases, spyware can track your online movements, steal your passwords and/or compromise your accounts.
(Author: National Cyber Security Alliance, published under Public License)
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