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Spyware is software that transmits personal information from your computer to some place in the internet without your knowledge.

Spyware is typically bundled with a product you install that you may or may not disable during install. In most cases, the EULA somewhere has a few lines telling you about privacy matters, but typically most users don't read the complete EULA and never know they have spyware on their system.

Adware is similar to spyware, but does not transmit personal information, or at least the collector promises not to sell it. Instead, aggregated usage information is collected, and sent somewhere on the internet.

Adapted from

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