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Adware Definition

Adware is software that displays advertisements on your computer. Toolbars and browser extensions are examples of adware applications, which you need to install in order for the application (and ads) to work properly with certain Web browsers or e-mail clients.

Adware is one of the most popular types of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). The term adware comes from an abbreviation for advertising-supported software. While many people think that they get free anti-malware when installing such PUPs, in reality, these are nothing but ways to generate leads and make profits by placing users in front of ads.

So, adware is actually a program that shows users advertisements while running on the computer without their knowledge or consent and it often gathers personal information about them to target these people with relevant advertisement content at some point later.

Most software that is known as adware, or spyware for short, is safe to use. But some programs may not be so harmless and can watch your actions on the computer including what you type in a search engine along with information from your hard drive. So here’s a word of caution: if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. Always read the privacy agreement that comes along with adware before downloading them on your computer.

Examples of Adware

A computer can get infected with adware if one downloads malicious software from the internet. A common example of such a program is that which offers free versions and comes bundled with adware along as an additional feature that may or may not be useful to the user depending on how he/she plans to use it.

Some of the examples of Adware include –

  1. Legally Deceptive Adware
  2. Illegal Malicious Adware
  3. Legal Abusive Adware

Legal Deceptive Adware is often used to install other applications into your computer even if you have already made sure not to allow them. This is done by making the opt-out process tricky so that users accidentally select it instead of opting out completely. However, this can happen with legal adware also as sometimes they are designed in a way that makes it hard for the user to understand what they are getting into.

Illegal Malicious Adware is a type of software that is being distributed by third parties in order to spread malware over the internet. These programs may help malicious agents mask unwanted applications like spyware, viruses, or other forms of Malicious Software onto your device behind an ad-based cover-up for their activities. If you see any pop ads on your computer screen, chances are your PC is running an adware program.