The ubiquity of computers, particularly home computers, has led owners to treat them like refrigerators or toasters -- plugging them in, adjusting some initial settings, and using them until they break or until a different set of features is desired. This is a recipe for disaster because without education and the right security software, the end user doesn't stand a chance.
 
Spyware was originally designed to observe users' Internet  patterns and deliver pop-up ads based on their individual browsing and shopping preferences. Now, although pop-up ads continue to be a nuisance, hackers are far more focused on spyware as crimeware: computer programs designed expressly to facilitate illegal activity online.

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