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What is Adware


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Adware is software with advertising functions built into the program usually used by the programmer as a way of recovering program development costs. In some cases this software may be provided free or at a reduced price. This income is often used by the programmer to further develop the software. Adware can do many things to your computer. It can monitor and track your web usage, direct pop up ads based on your surfing habits, and can be terribly annoying.

Some adware is also shareware. The difference between the two is that adware is primarily advertising supported while shareware offers users the option of buying a "registered" or "licensed" copy in order to remove the adware.

The problem with adware is that it often is spyware. Spyware gathers information about where you, the user, have your information tracked, reported and often sold without your knowledge or consent. These programs also take the form of Malware, which may interfere with the function of other software in order to force you to visit a particular web site.

It is hard to tell the difference between Adware, Shareware and Malware because the three overlap. When you install adware on your computer and consent to its use, the adware becomes spyware when another user visits that computer. So when you are contacting a friend, the friend's computer usage is being tracked, as well as your own, and without their consent.

Spyware applications often send the user's browsing habits to an ad company, which then contacts that user with advertising from sites based on the browsing. Adware programs other than spyware do not invisibly collect and upload activity or personal information when the user has not approved of it. Some adware producers maintain that their application which does this compiling is not spyware, due to disclosure at the onset. They maintain that somewhere under Terms of Use there is written a clause allowing their software to accumulate this information and report its use.

There are numerous adware programs on the internet today. A number of software applications are available to help computer users search for, eliminate, and to block adware programs. To continue to stay free of them, you need to have a program that detects, quarantines, and removes adware as well as spyware from your computer. These programs are designed specifically to detect spyware and do not work on viruses.

The security of your computer should be top priority to protect both you and those you conduct business with. These contacts could be made through chat rooms, blogs, games, shopping, emailing, or just browsing and all run the risk of having programs attached to them. To prevent this you should always check your computer on at least a daily basis for adware, spyware and malware.

The best tool for eliminating adware, spyware and malware is YOU!. Do not install adware. Keep up to date security patches and operating system updates from Windows Update. Install ad blocking software with internet security.

Use your adware security programs and internet anti-virus programs religiously. New intrusive programs are devised daily, so keep yourself up to date and have a healthy computer!

About the Author

Bonnie McCormick researches and writes about topics related to computer security, website development and promotion, and internet marketing. You can contact her at or

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2008-02-01 09:27:44 in Computer Articles

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