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Software that monitors the activities of a user (such as their browsing habits) or gathers information about a user (such as stored credit card details) without the user's knowledge or permission. This information is collected so that it can be relayed to a third party.

Spyware is typically used as a prelude to theft or fraud. Once credit card or personal information has been collected and relayed to a third party that third party is able to use the information to commit a theft or fraud.

See also Adware.

For more information see: