The glossary below contains many of the terms you will find in common use throughout our website. Please refer to this list to find definitions of terms and answers to other Internet security-related questions.


Stand-alone programs that can secretly monitor system activity and detect passwords and other confidential information and relay the information back to another computer.

Spyware is a class of software that is designed to either gather information for marketing purposes or to deliver advertisements to Web pages. Although software of this type is legitimate, it can be installed on your computer without your knowledge.

A general term that is used for the programs that covertly monitor your activity on your computer. Spyware programs gather personal information like user names passwords, account numbers. Some spyware focuses on monitoring a person’s Internet behavior. This type of spyware often tracks the places you visit and things you do on the Web. The spyware then transmits that information to another computer, usually for advertising purposes. While a firewall can block the online transactions of a spyware program, an antivirus program can identify and remove this threat.