Adware, Spyware, and Malware
Adware, or advertising supported software, is any application that displays advertisements while a program is being used. These advertisements are often displayed in their own pop-up windows, or in their own special status bar.
What is Spyware?
Spyware is computer software that gathers information about a computer user without the user’s consent, and then transmits that information to an external entity. For example, users can be monitored to determine their browsing habits. This information can then be sold to advertising companies who use it to design target advertisements.
Where does Adware and Spyware come from?
Adware and Spyware programs are usually installed when a user visits a malicious website. At the time of writing, Adware and Spyware are a problem unique to the Windows world. We have not seen examples of this issue on the Macintosh platform.
How do I know if I have Adware or Spyware?
Some indications that you may have Adware or Spyware on your computer include the following:
- Your computer may display unwanted pop-up advertisements.
- Your Web browser might redirect you to unwanted pages.
- Your bookmarks may become cluttered.
- Your computer may run slower.
How do I remove Adware and Spyware?
Adware and Spyware require different strategies for removal than viruses. This is because they spread differently and have a tendency to integrate themselves into the Internet browser rather than into the operating system. The next section of this workshop gives information on how to remove Adware and Spyware from your computer.