What is Adware?
What is adware?
Adware by definition is software that automatically displays or downloads advertising material such as banners or pop-ups when a user is online. This is usually in the form of toolbars, search engines, home page take-overs etc. They usually attack your browser by changing preferences in order to market and collect data from you. By changing your home page or search engine the chances are you'll search via their software and as a result will allow them to be able to collect the data they need.
You might be wondering how this software can simply climb onto your PC and change these kind of settings without your knowledge or permission.. well they can't, you might not notice but somewhere along the line they will ask you to allow them in by agreeing to their terms and conditions. This gives them your consent to install themselves on your device.
The most common way of unintentially installing adware is through installations of other programs. Freeware is usually the most targeted type of software as it tends to get very high download quantities, often global too, which is very attractive to adware companies. They will approach freeware software developers and offer them money to be included in their installation flow. They tend to make them quite discreet, however, it's down to the end user who doesn't pay proper attention when installing the software. Most people will click 'next' and 'I agree' without reading what's on the screen or hidden in the terms. Somewhere in here you'll be agreeing to allow the installation of a certain adware program and once you've done that, the adware will be on your computer in a flash.
The easiest and most effective way to prevent the installation of adware is to make sure you pay attention to what you're actually installing, when it comes to setting up some new software. You don't need to read all the terms and conditions to know you'll be agreeing to the installation of another program, the first line or two will give it away!
If you have a suspicion that your PC is riddled with adware, feel free to check out our reviews.