Spyware that you just have to have installed.
I'll start posting a list of the most popular self infections people do just about every day. From Downloader, Brothersoft, Coupon sites, Compete sites, Tracking toolbars and your simple little search toolbar. Many offer more than just a link or two.
Spyware comes in many forms. Below is a list of toolbars that for the most part look friendly enough. That's until you find out what they are recording.
The list below was published at a well known research site. I have tested many of these but for different security reasons. (I tested to see if they kept recording keystrokes after the SSL connection was made.)
Spyware Name Percentage of Spyware
Coupon-Bar ActiveX component d.. 85%
FunWebProducts.Adware ActiveX ... 8%
Search_Miracle Download x.cab 3%
WhenU_FanzoneToolbar Setup Dow... 0.9%
Arurizer.A Installer 0.5%
Alexa-Toolbar Executable File ... 0.2%
CnsMin ActiveX component downl... 0.2%
Adult_Chat_Dialer ActiveX comp... 0.1%
Keyq.A Installer 0.0% Vapsup Downloader 0.0%
There you have it. More people seem to be working for Coupons dot com and other adware tracking tool bars.
If you don't know what the tool bar actually collects you should read what the policy statements say.
Research Knowledge actually states that they copy what you do with your computer. That's a bit more than finding out which webside you visit. What programs you open, how long you are on the computer, what websites you vist, what sites you login to.. Login? If they are recording your activity on your computer do you think they might have a few of your login's?
The key is not to instally any toolbar or tracking software that promises you discounts and free gifts. They are just promises which you will never enforce.
The list above are typically the first things I remove from systems. But that list doesn't include the monitoring software kings that claim to do it all for "Research". (Research = Dollars)