Home » Computers » Spyware and Viruses

Adware Advertising Gone Wrong

Aug 17, 2007
If you spend any time at all on the Internet, you can hardly avoid the copious ads that appear on nearly every site you visit. Advertising in and of itself isn't a bad thing. It makes people who do business over the Internet able to bring in some money and keep their venture going. There's nothing wrong with making a little money! Unfortunately, a type of software called "adware" has sprung up for advertising purposes, and it can seriously affect your computer.

Adware, simply put, is any software that plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to your computer. While that sounds fairly harmless, adware can actually slow down your computer or cause it to display some pretty objectionable advertising.

Initially, adware really was pretty simple and, though sometimes irritating, it was a pretty minor nuisance. In most cases it was just a couple of files that you could very easily delete. And, in many cases, it was and still is used to bring you a free version of a useful program. For example, you might download a program to your computer that displays advertisement upon start up. The program gives you the option to either purchase the program with additional features and no advertisements, or you can continue using the free version, which will continue to display advertisements.

Unfortunately, not all adware is harmless anymore. It's actually become an enormous business and a real moneymaker. One adverse affect of adware is the compromising of your computer's stability. If your system becomes badly infected, it can move very slowly, crash, or be completely unable to start up at all.

Adware also puts your privacy at risk. Some adware actually reports back to its creators your Internet activity so that they can send you targeted advertising.

Adware may make your computer display pop-up ads even if you have a pop-up blocker. This is accomplished when the adware ads itself to your list of sites from which you'll accept pop-ups. Unfortunately, some of these pop-up ads may contain pornographic material, and there's no telling when they'll show up. It could be while your young children are surfing the Internet.

These pop-ups can be very misleading, too. They may give you an option to choose "yes," "no," or "cancel." However, regardless of what you click on, they'll redirect you to another site or download an unwanted program.

Adware can even change your home page and hijack your search engine of choice. Not only is this just plain annoying, it also opens you up to all sorts of exposure to material you may object to. Adware might also add toolbars to your computer. Sometimes they can't be turned off for good, so they periodically reappear. Or, they might disable your other toolbars so they don't interfere and compete with the adware.

Steps you can take to prevent adware from showing up on your computer include, of course, just not installing adware or programs that you know contain adware (like the free programs mentioned earlier). Keeping your computer up to date on security patches and operating system updates is also important.

Because many adware programs are designed to target a specific operating system or Internet browser, as the most popular choices, Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer are often targeted. You may consider using less popular alternatives, such as the Linux operating system and Mozilla Firefox browser. Both are available for free download.

There are a number of software programs on the market that can protect your computer from adware infection regardless of the operating system or browser you use. Don't confuse adware blockers with anti-virus programs, though. Typically, these software programs do not work for both problems, so you will need to purchase both.

Adware blockers will either scan for adware programs going forward without removing those already on your computer, or they will review your computer for existing adware so that it can be deleted. Some programs may do both. If your computer is new and you're fairly confident that it doesn't already contain a lot of adware, you can safely purchase the first type.

However, if you've had your computer connected to the Internet for a while now, you probably should get a program that looks for existing adware on your computer. You'll need to run this program regularly to take care of adware as it shows up on your computer.

Taking the proper precautions can make the Internet a much more enjoyable and safer place for you and your family. After all, advertising isn't something that should be allowed to take over your computer or expose you or your children to objectionable material.
About the Author
While surfing the internet I found "XoftSpySE" which did an excellent job cleaning up and optimizing my PC. This program saved me a lot of time and frustration by getting rid of some high risk items that found their way into my computer. Get a free scan at http://www.easywayincome.com
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 413
Print Email Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Air Travel
    • Camping
    • Cruises
    • Destinations
    • Outdoors
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources