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Online Threats - Adware

What is adware?

Chained computer Adware is unsolicited commercial software that comes combined with a host application, usually freeware or shareware, which displays advertising while the program is running or through some other triggering mechanism. Some adware hides components and disables removal techniques making it difficult to remove. Adware may also gather user information which causes privacy concerns.

Where does adware come from?

Adware is most often integrated into free applications. MyWay Searchbar, which has utilities such as SmileyCentral and Zwinky, and WeatherBug (adware can be turned off with a paid upgrade) are examples of apps that are reported to contain adware. Adware and spyware programs may also be installed because your browser or operating system has a security hole which was exploited.

How does adware affect my computer?

Pop-up advertisements appear during web browsing or general desktop use. These are annoying and in some cases degrade system performance.

How do I protect myself from adware?

Before you can protect your computer against future adware, make sure that you remove any that is already on your machine.

  • Run anti-spyware and anti-adware updates and scans regularly
  • Turn on immunization options in anti-spyware and anti-adware software
  • Make sure your operating system, browser and email software has the latest updates to plug security holes
  • Turn on the firewall when using the Internet
  • Use WOT for preventative protection against risky websites

See also Browser exploits, Internet fraud, Malware, Phishing, Spam and Spyware