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Types of security risks

May 26, 2010

Security risks, such as spyware and adware, can compromise your personal information and privacy. Spyware and adware programs are closely related. In some cases, their functionalities might overlap; but while they both collect information about you, the types of information that they collect can differ.

Spyware programs might put you at risk for identity theft or fraud. These programs might log your keystrokes, capture your email and instant messaging traffic. These programs also steal sensitive personal information such as passwords, login IDs, or credit card numbers. These programs can then send your compromised data to other people.


Adware displays advertisements on your computer and collects information about your Web browsing habits. It then gives this data to companies that can send you advertisements based on these preferences.

Tracking cookies are the small files that programs can place on your computer to track your computing activities. Tracking cookies can then report that information back to a third party.

Some programs rely on other programs that are classified as security risks to function. For example, a shareware or freeware program that you download might use adware to keep its price low. In this case, you might want to allow the security risk program to remain on your computer. Also, you might need to restore the security risk program if Spyware Protection has removed it.

Norton Internet Security allows joke programs and other low-risk items to be installed on your computer by default. You can change your settings in the Settings window so that Norton Internet Security detects these security risks.

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