Posts Tagged ‘free adware’
Adware is any type of software with an advertising function integrated or bundled with a program; this is typically done by the programmer in an attempt to recover programming costs. As an added bonus, in some cases, it may also allow the program to be used free of charge or at a deeply discounted price; but remember, nothing in life is free – especially adware.
There is concern about adware because it often takes the form of spyware; information about the user’s activity is tracked, reported and sometimes re-sold, often without the knowledge or consent of the user. It is not uncommon for people to confuse “adware” with “spyware” and “malware“, especially since these concepts overlap. For example, if one user installs “adware” on a computer, and consents to a tracking feature, the “adware” becomes “spyware” when another user visits that computer, and interacts with, and is tracked by, the “adware” without their consent. Confusing, definitely.
Some of the symptoms of adware are homepage and search engine hijacking. This occurs when a computer user’s home page of choice has been changed without their authorization.
Tool bars that appear out of seemingly nowhere are also a sign that adware has imbeded spyware on your computer; these tool bars are often search engine based. Sometimes, as part of their installation, they will disable other toolbars that may already be installed, or they will not allow you to turn them off. Part of the problem with this is that sometimes, the results from hijacked toolbars will be restricted to sites that pay for positioning; these are also known as “sponsored” results.
Popup windows can be intrusive and annoying. A sure sign that adware has placed itself on your computer, these can be difficult to get rid of at best. In some cases, every time you try to close a window, another will appear; if this happens in rapid succession, it can render your computer completely inoperable. Sometimes these are deliberately deceptive, offering you a “cancel” or a “no” button to click. Always make sure that you click the red “x” in the upper right hand corner of any pop-up window, rather than the “no” or “cancel” button in the pop-up itself.
Unfortunately, pop-up windows can sometimes be explicit and un-family friendly. They can also advertise a warning that your computer is infected with spyware, even when it is not. Computer users that are not familiar with this trick will sometimes click on these boxes, not realizing what the result will be.
Thankfully, a number of software applications are available to help computer users search for and modify adware programs to block the presentation of advertisements and to remove spyware modules. To avoid a backlash, as with the advertising industry in general, creators of adware must balance their attempts to generate revenue with users’ desire to be left alone.
If you are having problems with adware, popups and spyware try a free scan by clicking the button below to find out what’s on your pc.