Generally speaking Adware, or the contraction of the Advertisement-supported software, is any computer program that automatically delivers advertisements, so that the developer can earn some returns for the development investments. Most of the free software and applications are adware in this sense. They allow users to enjoy free version of their desired software, and would give the developer a source of income. However, situations can easily cross that fine line of convenience-to-both-parties and enter into the zone of internet security and privacy threats. In this zone, adware becomes Advertisement-Malware or the malicious software.
In their least severity, such adware render unwanted advertisements to the users, making themselves an irritating pest, consuming the internet data usage volume. However, these adware can easily play the role of their cousin spyware. In such cases, the adware script, unbeknownst, tracks the online activities of the user, sending reports to the script author. That way the developer can get a gist of the users’ preference and deliver the similar advertisements that you are likely to click.
How to detect adware on your computer?
Have you ever clicked on an interesting advertisement link that has redirected you to a disreputable website? Or have you ever downloaded a free software only to have your screen covered with infinite pop-up windows? If yes, then you have already had a face-off with infamous adware programs. Though such is the most common working of adware that makes it easily detectable, some adware are quite sneaky and would require some diligence on your part to get detected.
These sly adware programs work silently. They send your browsing details to third-party over the internet, gradually creeps through your computer (making it slow and sluggish), and would get you to install completely unnecessary software, or other adware with “Urgent” and “now!!” alert pop-ups. Such adware are hard to detect and can easily be misconceived as other malware. In such a situation, it would be difficult for you to remove the source problem if you do not have a complete internet security antivirus suite, as the basic antivirus software do not detect adware. This is because most of the adware use the similar script as is used by legitimate websites.
The best way to discover such adware is also the way to removing the same, which is by installing the complete internet security suite from antivirus solution providers. An alternate way, for mere discerning of adware, is by using a reliable adware detection module.
How to immune a system against adware?
As discussed above, adware (the malware ones) are mostly just irritating software. But for their privacy-invasive and other similar harmful traits, many investigators treat them as serious threats like Viruses and Trojan. Considering this, it is always a better alternative to keep your PC immune against such threats.
First of all install a comprehensive antivirus program that provides protection against most of the malware (including adware). If you already have such an antivirus installed on your PC, then keep it updated.
Always maintain the firewall option of your computer enabled. It will protect you from a variety of threats that includes adware. Another way to avoid adware is by avoiding its siblings namely freeware, shareware, and P2P applications. They are the primary source that can bring their cherished revenue-generating-brother adware right on your computer. So keep yourself from downloading any such software. If you do download such low-priced or free applications, be careful and read its licensing terms before agreeing to them.
How to remove an already existing adware from your PC?
Since we can not completely ignore free software, neither can we bid adieu to the less expensive ad versions of our favorite applications. However, there is one thing we can do, and that is, keep our PCs safe from adware while getting the best of the internet. The ideal way to avoid these threats is, of course, by reading the licensing agreement. But they, the agreements, are genuinely (and perhaps purposefully) long, and one would rather spend some extra money on the expensive version of the software than read those small-print lines throughout. If you agree with whatever has been stated in this paragraph, then you are on the track where the one-and-only reliable companion is the antivirus program. Yes, there is no way around this. You will have to have an antivirus software, or let the cursed piece of the software annoy the hell out of you. As they say, ‘Choice is yours, but also the price to be paid’.