What is Adware?

If you are suddenly receiving random ads on your browser and system, it might be because of an Adware infection. This post will guide you on what is Adware, how do you get it, what are its symptoms, and how to protect your device from Adware.

What is Adware?

Adware is short for advertising-supported software. It is the extension or application responsible for ad displaying on your browser, applications, or system. Generally, Adware enters the system unintentionally, and therefore it comes under Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUP. Since it can conduct various malicious tasks after infiltrating your device, it is also one of the types of malware.

An Adware can not only irritate the user and disturb their workflow by constantly bombarding ads in the form of pop-ups and banners, but it can also inject other malware and malicious codes such as browser hijacker, spyware onto the device.

Adware can use your browsing data like search history to display your advertisement that might interest you. By this, it is also breaking your privacy. However, Adware might not always be unintentional or malicious.

How Adware enters your system?

There are many ways Adware can enter your device, but the following two are the most common ways:

  • When you visit rogue sites searching for freeware and games, you will be bombarded with malicious pop-ups. If you click any of them, you can initiate the downloading of malware programs like Adware or Spyware.

  • One of the most common ways of Adware introduction is through bundled software programs. When you install any software, an additional, unwanted program might also get installed along with it. That other program can be Adware.

Symptoms of Adware Infection

There are certain indications that would ensure that an Adware has infiltrated your device.

Unusual Ad Bombardment

The first indication is pretty apparent. While it is normal to get occasional pop-ups and banner ads while browsing the internet, it becomes suspicious if it is happening unnaturally and frequently. After Adware hits your system, you will get unnecessary, irrelevant ads. Even the applications that generally do not show ads might be full with them.

Slow Computer

Adware and similar malware programs can highly slow down your computer. If you experience that your system is taking more than usual time to start up, applications, documents are loading very slowly, or processes take so much time in loading, then it is a clear symptom of Adware infection. Since Adware can take up a large amount of system RAM to run, a slow computer is evident.

Browser Crashing

If your web browser is frequently crashing, it might be because of an unintentional new tab opening by Adware. A sudden ad bombardment can result in a browser crash.

Slow Internet connection

If the internet connection is slow on your device and works well on other devices connected on the same network, it might be because of Adware since Adware requires a fair amount of data to download a large number of ads and bombard them on the system.

How to protect your device from Adware?

Adware can be very dangerous for the system if not handled at the right time. It is better to stay away from such malware rather than dealing with them after the infection. To protect your device from Adware, you can follow these tactics.

  • Use Adblockers on your browser to prevent unwanted pop-up or banner ads displaying on your browsing screen to ruin your experience. Ad blockers also eliminate any chance of clicking on malicious ads and introducing Adware.

  • When installing software, always ensure that no additional, unwanted application is being installed with the primary one.

  • Keep your software updated so that you get frequent security fixes.

  • Avoid visiting unrecognized sites searching for freeware.

  • Software downloaded illegally from torrent sites generally contain malware like Adware. It is advised never to get your applications from such platforms.

Updated on: 18-Mar-2021


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