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How adware works and how to remove it?

18 Dec 2007
 by Cristina Mailat | in: Security, Tutorials

Browser hijacked, strange pop-ups appearing for no reason? Is your computer running really slow? It’s time you knew how to protect yourself!

These days, the adware threat to your computer, is no laughing matter. Not only is it annoying, it can create havoc with your system, and jeopardize your personal information. That is why it is so important to detect adware, and remove adware as soon as possible.

How adware works?

So what exactly is adware? Just as the name indicates, adware is a term used for many different forms of advertising that appear on your computer. Adware is a software application that is programmed to display a banner, a popup ad, or some other form of advertising. When you load a web page it appears. Sometimes it’s quite obvious, other times much more subtle and you have no idea that files or tracking cookies have been placed on your system.

Adware is used by developers to generate revenue. The adware threat to your computer is dependant on what has been coded into the advertising. In some cases it’s simply an annoyance that produces pop-up ads. In other cases the threat is more critical, because the ad has been coded to upload personal information from your computer, or to download information to your computer without your permission. Adware can be as simple as an annoying add, or so serious your personal information is in jeapordy.

Both spyware and adware install files on your computer without you knowing, giving the ability to change advertising campaigns based on your personal surfing habits. Adware downloads to your computer usually involve tracking your movements on the net, and collecting information about you. It’s like a huge survey of where users go and how long they stay. Put bluntly, it is an invasion of your privacy. That is why it is so important to detect adware and remove it immediately. When you remove adware from your system, you remove the ability of the advertiser to follow your movements on the internet.

Malware is also a form of adware and is often seen attached to freeware or shareware software. When you install the software, it generates advertising within the software. This in itself you might be able to tolerate, after all you did get the program for free. But the annoyance and danger run much deeper.

Malware will run even when you are not using the software it came with,. It will collect information and send it back to the originating server, jeopardizing your privacy. Malware can also create system problems. If you computer seems to be running slower and slower, it could be a result of one or more malware programs running in the background. These programs are constantly accessing the internet and using your system resources.

You also need to be aware that most peer to peer file sharing programs come bundled with Adware. Always read the End User License Agreement, to see exactly what you are agreeing to for the privilege of using their software. Too many of us just click yes and have no idea that we have just agreed to their adware campaign.

One of the most common ploys used by software companies is to tell you they need to have a peer to peer connection to provide you with updates, and for their software or website to run correctly. Screensavers are a perfect example of this type of marketing.

How to remove the adware and spware problems?

Popup ads may not be as malicious but they are extremely annoying. Using a popup blocker will eliminate 90% of these little devils from popping up on your screen. You can use a popup browser provided with a search engine toolbar, but we recommend a more powerful popup blocker.

Some adware is difficult to remove, and in the worst case scenario removing the adware will cause the software to stop operating or your computer to crash or freeze. With other software the removal is easy and does not interfere with any functions.

Ad-aware will keep you and your computer safe. It is a privacy tool that scans your computers memory, the registry, and all of your drives – hard, removable, and optical, for known aggressive, data mining advertising and tracking elements. This includes tracking cookies.

After your system is scanned, the antispyware application will provide you with a list of the results and choices. You can remove or quarantine all or some of the components. Sometimes there will be a reason to keep a specific file or cookie, so Ad-aware allows you to ignore certain files in future scans.

With the growing threat of identity theft, computer hijackings, and other security threats, it’s important that you don’t delay purchasing good adware software. If you don’t want your system overrun with adware, install Ad-aware to keep your system clean and healthy, and your personal information secure!

Published: 18 Dec 2007  by Cristina Mailat, in: Security, Tutorials Tags: , , , , RSS feed for comments on this post.

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