Difference between Malware and Adware

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Malware is a malicious program that is used by attackers to perform illegal operations on the user's machine-like stealing personal information, corrupting system/network, encrypts data for "ransom" or deleting the data, etc. Following are major types of malware −

  • Virus

  • Worm

  • Trogon Horse

  • Spyware

  • Logic Bombs


Adware is a program that displays Ads during its execution. Developers get money from this advertisement. This application may capture user activity and display ads accordingly. An attacker can misuse this feature of adware and can compromise the system security.

Following are major types of adware −

  • Application Program

  • Software as a service

The following are some of the important differences between Malware and Adware

Sr. No.KeyMalwareAdware
1ConceptMalware is a malicious program and is made to harm a user.Adware is a program that contains ads and can collect user activity information for Ads purpose.
2HarmfulMalware is always harmful.Adwares are generally safe to use.
3DistributionMalware is distributed without knowledge of end-user. Emails or spurious software installations can have malware with them.Adwares are generally introduced to the user via pop-up window, ads to download and install them.
4PurposeA malware does illegal activities like destroying/corrupting end user's computers etc.Adwares shows ads to benefits the developers.
5PreventionTo prevent malware, use a good quality antiwar, check emails for authentic sources and stay aware.To prevent misuse by adware, always install adware from a known and authentic source.

Published on 16-Apr-2020 06:07:04