What is Adware?

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What is Adware? Empty What is Adware?

Post  Admin on Sat Jan 05, 2008 10:16 am

Adware is a term covering a large range of software that gathers information without your knowledge. This software uses your Internet connection and can track where you go and what you do. Usually adware is added as an extra component of freeware and shareware programs; you agree to the adware in the service agreement Ė you know that agreement that you likely never read. Once installed, adware can transmit information back to someone else through your computer.

Sounds a lot like spyware, right? Adware and spyware are actually the same. The difference is that spyware abuses its powers to monitor a userís activity and is often a secret component of a program, though it is often used for advertising purposes just like adware. Adware is capable of capturing and transmitting email addresses, credit card numbers, passwords, and other private information, but only those using it as spyware use it for those reasons.

Removing Adware

Adware is often more annoying than it is dangerous, though someone could use it to hurt you. Not only will you want to remove the annoying adware, but youíll also want to protect your computer against any spyware installed without your permission. These three programs can help you deal with both efficiently and inexpensively.

1. Ad-Aware: There are two versions of this great tool Ė the free version and the Professional version. Both are effective, but for a low fee, you can get the Professional version that actively monitors your computer for both adware and spyware. Otherwise, you will have to do a manual search that can be difficult for some people to remember.

2. Spybot Search & Destroy: For those of you out there who want the best product you can get for the least money, this is the software for you. Spybot is free, though they do request contributions, and it can take care of most of your adware and spyware issues. Unlike Ad-Aware, Spybot does not actively work to protect your computer. Instead, you must run a scan to get rid of adware and spyware.

3. McAfee Anti-Spyware: Weíve all heard of McAfee for their Anti-virus products, but they also offer an Anti-Spyware program. This free program provides real-time scans of your computer and all files for both adware and spyware. Everything sounds great, but this small program takes up an amazing amount of space. If you donít have a lot of RAM, it may affect the other programs youíre running.

Choosing an Anti-Adware Program

The most important step you can take to protect yourself from identity thieves is to choose a great anti-adware and anti-spyware program. Although we often agree to the installation of adware, we often donít realize it due to a failure to read through a programís complete userís agreement. A few dollars a year will be worthwhile if it removes the annoyance of adware and the dangers of spyware all at the same time.

If you donít want to pay for a program that runs automatically, be sure to create a schedule for scans. Generally, you should take time once a week to perform your adware/spyware scans, your anti-virus scan, your newest Windows or Mac updates, and clean up your desktop and hard drive. When you schedule these important tasks for the same time each week, you will be less likely to forget them, and your computer will run efficiently and safely all the time.


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