Spyware

a type of malware (malicious software) installed on computers that collects information about users without their knowledge; can collect Internet surfing habits, user logins and passwords, bank or credit account information, and other data entered into a computer; often difficult to remove, it can also change a computer’s configuration resulting in slow Internet connection speeds, a surge in pop‐up advertisements, and un‐authorized changes in browser settings or functionality of other software.