AdWare.Win32.AdSquash.a as Misinformation
If you would be given anything for free, would you take it? For me, of course! I would accept anything that is for free. While many of us, myself included, decline to install advertising-supported software, some choose the ads in order to enjoy the freebies. For example, there are real games that many describe as so fun it’s addicting. Another game, with the grape ape that chatters incessantly, doesn’t just try to entice users into buying the personal software. It also greets, jokes, and delivers tidbits of information on a variety of topics. And a particular desktop toolbar might be a real bonanza for online traders who want to ferret out the best bargains on various sundries.
On the flip side of the coin, there are adware programs that seem engineered simply to serve ads. Their licensing agreements may not be as clear and the software they use to promote their use provides little, if any, value to the consumer. And the problem with designating good vs. bad isn’t confined to adware. Because adware such as AdWare.Win32.AdSquash.a is a victim of misinformation. Given the loose way in which the term spyware is used, even some ad-free tool-bars could be classified as ‘spyware’ because in order to deliver a page rank it tracks which site is being visited. Fortunately, the ad-free toolbar doesn’t appear in the anti-spyware scanner lists, but many of these same scanners do rank cookies and shortcuts as high-risk spyware. This improper classification leads the user to believe they are severely infected even when they are not. Properly defining adware and spyware is crucial yet the scanners too often misuse the label for, ironically, their own marketing purposes.
The fact is, advertising helps fund many of the programs, websites, and services we use on a regular basis. Many advertising companies, and their adware programs, do spell out their intent and do provide uninstallers. Conversely, there are many bad apples that don’t follow suit. It is important that in our quest for a safer, more sane online experience, we don’t cry wolf when we encounter adware but that we do cry foul when we encounter badware. And is it really so bad to have a scanner that can help us tell the difference? It is better to be safe than sorry.