Spyware is a malicious software program that is installed on personal computers to collect information about users, their computer and/or browsing habits without their consent. This often occurs when a user visits and unknown website or downloads something online or in an email. Spyware programs can collect various types of personal information, such as Internet browsing habits and sites that have been visited, and can also interfere with the computer in other ways. Loss of computer functionality such as slow connection speeds and changed settings is often a result of spyware. It is important to have a good anti-virus program that protects against spyware installed on your computer.