Adware

Adware (or advertising software) is the term used for various pop-up advertisements that show up on your computer or mobile device. Adware has the potential to become malicious and harm your device by slowing it down, hijacking your browser and installing viruses and/or spyware.

Adware

Adware (or advertising software) is the term used for various pop-up advertisements that show up on your computer or mobile device. Adware has the potential to become malicious and harm your device by slowing it down, hijacking your browser and installing viruses and/or spyware.

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4 min read

Reading time icon

4 min read

What is adware?

Adware refers to a type of malware that displays unwanted advertisements on your computer or device. Adware is commonly activated unknowingly when users are trying to install legitimate applications that adware is bundled with.

While sometimes, adware can be safe, some pop-up windows intend to not only display advertisements but also collect data and information in order to target you with customised adverts. In these cases, adware can direct you to malicious websites and infected pages through various advert links, putting you at risk of computer viruses.

How to detect adware

The most common way to recognise adware is the appearance of pop-up advertisements and applications that you are unfamiliar with and on browsers where they had not been displayed before.

In some cases, adware can also cause changes to your browser, below are a few things to look out for:

  • Lagging performance and eventual crashing
  • Unrequested changes to your browser homepages
  • Appearance of new extensions and toolbars
  • Web pages not displaying properly
  • Unwanted software installing

 

 

 

Types of adware

Adware commonly takes the form of irritating pop-up windows and banners; however, it can act in many different ways:

  • Acting similarly to spyware, some types of adware track your movement and activities online in order to tailor specific adverts to you
  • Operating as a middle man, adware can redirect your activities through them in order to share adverts with you
  • Adware uses up your data, with every pop-up download eating away at your allowance
  • Slowing down your computer, running adware uses up power affecting your device’s performance

How does adware removal work?

As well as ensuring you are wary of pop-ups and banners that could lead to malicious websites, it is important to protect your device before adware becomes a threat. In cases where Adware has already affected your device, an antivirus program is recommended for secure removal. There are many free tools for removing adware from your device however, not all of these are safe and viable options.

Installing Anti-virus software will help prevent any viruses that could attack your computer through the form of adware as well as providing a safe removal option. If you have an antivirus program installed – be sure to back up your files and data before beginning a scan to remove any potential adware on your device.

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