What is Adware?
Adware can be safe for users and a valid business advertisement-supported software.
However, not all adware programs are genuine. Some are manipulative and open doors for malicious activities.
Developers create adware for advertising other software to earn money.
- Some adware can be safe for users and a valid business advertisement-supported software, but others are manipulative and open door for malicious activities
- Malicious adware displays unwanted advertisements on your computer
- Adware can change your browser’s home page or install spyware without your knowledge
- Madware is an adware that infects mobile devices like tablets and smartphones
- You can remove adware using an antimalware scanner
- Prevent malware infections by being cautious online. Avoid downloading applications from untrustworthy vendors
Impact of Adware
Adware mainly targets individuals as opposed to businesses. The malicious program follows a victim across any path of opportunity, including Windows PC and Macs, mobile phones, and all browsers.
Adware programs serve you pop-up ads, can change your browser’s homepage, bombard your computer with unwanted advertisements, and install other malicious programs like spyware without your knowledge.
Adware uses your browser to collect your browsing history to target advertisements tailored to your interests.
Besides, the malicious programs barrage you with pop-up ads that make your internet experience considerably slower and time-consuming.
Madware – Mobile Adware
Madware refers to adware in mobile devices, such as a smartphone or tablet. You can detect the presence of madware when you notice mysterious icons in your start screen or scads of ads that clog your notification bar.
How Do I Get Infected with Adware?
There are different ways that cyber actors infect connected devices with adware.
- Browser Vulnerability – you can get adware through a browser vulnerability that allows pop-up ads
- Bad Apps – You can get adware program by downloading bad apps from untrustworthy vendors
- Malicious Websites – malicious websites can download and install adware automatically on your computer when interacting with the webpages
Detecting Adware in Your Device
There are various ways to tell if you have an adware infection in your device.
- Slow Computer – if your device is taking longer than usual to perform tasks like launching and running programs, opening documents, or playing media files, you may have an adware infection. The adware takes up your computer resources such as processer and memory space, decreasing your device’s overall performance.
- Many Pop-Up Ads – in some instances, you can get a few pop-up ads while surfing the web, especially advertisement for something you may have searched previously. However, adware bombards you with pop-ups ads that are difficult to close. In some cases, the ads automatically redirect you to new tabs with the product information.
- Constant Crashing – if your applications are crashing randomly, or your computer is freezing up, then you might have an adware infection
- Changes in Your Browser Homepage – some adware attacks are known for modifying your browser’s homepage. The malicious programs may redirect you to new pages that might install more adware or other malware like spyware
- Sluggish Internet Speeds – adware can slow your internet connection as the program downloads massive amounts of ads online.
- New Programs – adware populates your browser with new toolbars, extensions, or plugins
Removing Adware from your Computer
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you can scan and remove adware programs using a malware scanner that eliminates malicious program in a device.
If your mobile device browser has been compromised, the best way to block the pop-ups is to uninstall or use a different browser. You can clear your browsing history and cache to stop ads from coming back.
Tips to Prevent Adware Infection
- You can install an internet security suite to protect your devices, browser activities, confidential information, and operating systems.
- Update your operating systems, browsers, and other applications to eliminate vulnerabilities that attackers exploit to spread adware
- Be proactive in choosing the websites you visit. If a webpage loads slowly and behaves like it’s installing a program, close it immediately
- Avoid clicking on pop-ups or links in emails from unknown senders
- Exercise caution when downloading and installing apps. Ensure you install software programs from the official app store and trustworthy vendors
In summary, adware is a malware program that hides on your device and serves you advertisements. Some adware also monitors your behavior online so it can send you specific ads. Adware can also install other malware like spyware without your knowledge. You can detect adware infection if your device becomes slow, crashes constantly, and gets many pop-up ads. Prevent adware infection using antimalware tools and exercising caution while surfing the web.
I am a cyber security professional with a passion for delivering proactive strategies for day to day operational challenges. I am excited to be working with leading cyber security teams and professionals on projects that involve machine learning & AI solutions to solve the cyberspace menace and cut through inefficiency that plague today’s business environments.