While you are cheerfully browsing the Internet, a spyware program installed on your computer may be transmitting your personal information to a hacker. These programs are normally installed without your knowledge or permission and secretly transfer confidential data from your computer to the hackers who could be anywhere in the world. Employers have been known to install spyware on computers used by their employees to track their computing activities.
Many operating systems include built-in anti-spyware software which stops spyware from being installed secretly on your computer. Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may supply antivirus and anti-spyware software, or even firewall protection, e-mail virus screening and spam protection.