Computer software that is installed surreptitiously to intercept or take partial control over the user`s interaction with a computer, without the user`s informed consent. Spyware programs can collect various types of information, such as internet surfing habits, but can also interfere with user control of the computer in other ways, such as installing additional software and redirecting web browser activity. The software usually does not contain generally accepted standards of notice describing what the purpose and/or behavior of the software is nor does is usually contain visible or functioning choice mechanisms for complete uninstall. The programs are typically characterized by behaviors that can be considered deceptive if not harmful to the user and/or his computer.