Different Types of Spyware

By Scott Yoder

Spyware invades a computer with the users knowledge.
i computer with infected e-mail and bugs image by patrimonio designs from Fotolia.com

Spyware is a type of software that gains access to a computer without the users consent. Some spyware comes with security and data implications that can all but destroy the functionality of a computer or network, while other types only gather information on Internet browsing patterns. To avoid problems, it is worth it to stay updated on the latest spyware threats and be able to recognize signs that your system is infected.


Adware is a common type of spyware mainly used by advertisers. When you go online, it records your web surfing habits to gather information on the type of sites you search for. This information is used to direct marketing pop-ups and spam email.

Keyboard Logger

Keyboard logger spyware is a malicious program used by hackers. This program is designed to steal personal information by logging the actual keystrokes you type on your computer. When you enter a PIN, password, or credit card number the keyword logger records it for the hacker. This information can be used to access systems and commit identity theft and fraud.

Modem Hijacker

Modem hijackers tie into your phone line to make unauthorized calls and access member websites through your online connection. Usually this spyware program is used to phone premium rate phone numbers and access elicit websites such as porno sites. You don't know about the access and calls until you see the unauthorized charges on you bill.

Browser Hijacker

Browser hijacker spyware effects your Internet access by resetting your homepage and bookmarks. The goal is to direct you to undesirable sites with advertising spam. These programs are also data miners, recording your browsing activities and selling the information to advertisers.

Commercial Spyware

Not all spyware is unauthorized. In some cases, companies that provide free software and social networking platforms require you to agree to monitoring with spyware in order to access their systems. They then direct targeted advertising at you when you use their system. In this case you trade some of your privacy to access a free software.