Adware is any software that displays unwanted ads and collects the user’s private information illegally. They can be acquired by downloading free software or visiting unsafe websites. These commonly influence computers to slow down, show unwanted ads, or at times cause a computer crash.
How do people get adware?
Often, it’s assumed that adware is mainly gotten from pornographic sites only. However, they are everywhere. At times, there may be websites whose owners may be unaware of the criminal activities. But commonly, adware is found on free downloaded software. Here is a list of places people acquire adware:
- Free software versions: In most cases, as people try to avoid premium software and download free versions, they end up installing the adware they work to prevent. Instead, one should opt for trial versions, typically 30 days trial, to get a preview of the premium software, while avoiding unnecessary advertisements.
- Software from untrusted companies: Just like free versions, some untrusted companies continue to display Ads. Most of these are cheap and earn their revenue through advertising. They install adware into computers without the owner's consent, collect information and promote products based on their preferences.
- Spam websites: Some websites contain adware, which takes advantage of browser weaknesses to install themselves into a system. After being introduced, the software collects information, redirects website URLs, and shows unwanted advertisements. Other adware specialises in altering browser settings such as homepage and search engine settings.
What to do when infected by adware
First of all, the user is advised to consider changing passwords for their email addresses, social media, and other vital data that may be stored in the browser.
Then the user is then advised to back up their data and try removing the adware. Here are some options to remove the adware:
1. Removing the adware. If the user is aware about the adware and its name, they can research on how to remove.
2. Formatting their hard drives. This should wipe their computers clean and do away with all malware.
3. Purchasing premium malware removal software from trusted companies.