What is the difference between Scareware and Adware?

Firstly, let us understand what scareware is.


Scareware is a deceptive procedure created to trick Web users into downloading and purchasing malicious software (malware) by creating user interruption, uncertainty, or panic. Scareware formats involve malware, adware, spyware, Trojans, and viruses.

Scareware creates pop-ups that look like Microsoft Windows system indications and alerts for anti-virus/anti-spyware applications, registry cleaners, or firewalls. These deceptive pop-ups make a user call to action to buy scareware and repair alleged bugs.

Scareware can contain a clickjacking feature to redirect a client to an attacker’s website or initiate a malware download if a client attempts to close the pop-up. Scareware also compels users into uninstalling legal anti-virus software.

If a suspicious pop-up occurs, the user is considered to right press on the taskbar element and select, close, or exit the browser by choosing Ctrl-Alt-Del to eliminate the browser process.

There are few scareware attacks that take the structure of pop-up windows that impersonate to be messages from an antivirus program, firewall software, or from Windows operating frameworks.

They will generally advise you that your computer has been affected by malware and ask you to buy an antimalware program to delete the virus. There is no virus, and the antimalware program they are difficult to get you to purchase is not real.

There is another option is to use tools like pop-up blockers and Uniform Resource Locator (URL) filters that avoids users from receiving messages about fake or malicious applications. Moreover, legitimate antivirus software, network firewalls, and web security tools will secure users from the spread of scareware. These tools should be kept updated at all times to support effective protection from scareware and different types of malware.


Adware is a subdivision of spyware that can find its methods onto computers via affected websites through an unauthorized installation. It generally includes code that tracks web surfing habits and some non-public records. Adware passes user data onto a third party without the user’s subscription or authorization.

Adware’s motivation is to generate income for its designer by serving promotions to web users while they are surfing the internet or during the basic establishment process.

The main objective of Adware is to generate revenue by serving advertisements to internet users while they are surfing the web or during the original installation of programs or applications including toolbars or games. Adware can take an array of forms from display and banner advertisements to full-screen advertisements, videos, and pop-ups.

Legitimate adware enables you to consent to advertisement and application promos and to offset the developer costs so they can provide their software for free. Users can download this type of adware to obtain a free product.

Also, you can select to enable it to collect marketing information. Sometimes the accompanying personalized advertisement or sponsored third-party application can be desirable.

Updated on: 23-Nov-2021


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