What is adware and how to remove it

by - - | Type: Adware
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Adware (also known as an ad-supported program or an advertising-supported program) is the software that is used for advertising. Once installed on the system, it causes promotional content, including pop-up windows, banner ads, in-text links and similar advertisements, which is supposed to increase the popularity of related party websites.

Adware is usually released for promoting related parties and generating revenue for its developers. However, when added to the browser, such software can also gather non-personally identifiable information (Non-PII) about users’ activity on the Internet. The collected data is used for accumulating general statistics, like what websites people visit the most, what ads they click and what data they enter. Note that adware is usually divided into two categories - potentially unwanted and legitimate. Illegal advertising programs are very dangerous because they can start collecting sensitive information. In this case, user can unwillingly reveal such details as logins, email address, computer’s IP address, its location and similar data.

Adware sending ads

Typical adware behavior on the system

If an adware infiltrates the system, it usually installs its files and starts running in system’s background. In addition, it initiates these activities:

  • Showing pop-up ads, banners and in-text links. This content is supposed to promote affiliate parties that are seeking to increase their popularity.
  • Causing redirects to affiliate websites on each of web browsers. Such activity is also initiated for trying to increase web traffic to these websites.
  • Installing additional components without user’s authorization. Typically, adwares promote related advertising toolbars, other adwares and undesirable third-party software.
  • Tracking people’s activity on the Internet and gathering information about their interests, mostly viewed websites, entered data, etc. Once collected, the entire data package is sent to a remote server.
  • Degrading overall system’s performance. Some adware parasites are badly programmed, so they can cause system slow downs and computer’s instability.
  • Updating itself via the Internet without notifying user about the installation of its additional files.
  • Failing to provide the complete uninstall feature to prevent its elimination from the system. You can also notice that once you remove Adware from your computer, it reappears on it right after rebooting it. This is also an inherent trait of adware-type programs.

The most common distribution techniques

Adware is spread around not like regular viruses. Such programs do not use trojans and similar malicious components when they want to infect the system. Instead of that, they rely on three distribution techniques:

Misleading official websites. The most of adware-type programs have their official websites presenting them as useful tools, for example, powerful browser add-ons, useful shopping helpers or funny gaming plugins. If you fall into believing that such application is capable of helping you to save the money, you can end up with adware on your computer. That is why it is always recommended looking on the Internet for more detailed information about the program you are about to install.

Bundling. There are lots of free programs (freeware and shareware products) that have been bundled with adware. If you fail to monitor installation of such freeware, you may end up with unwanted browser add-on, extension, plugin, toolbar and similar adware. Uninstalling the host application does not help to get rid of related adware. This distribution method is the most common when promoting adware and similar parasites, such as browser hijackers. For protecting themselves, users should always select either Custom or Advanced installation of the freeware.

Fake pop-up ads. Clicking on misleading pop-up ads can also be dangerous and may lead you to the infiltration of an adware-type program. The most of such notifications "recommend" downloading missing updates, needed software, and similar components. Security experts recommend ignoring such alters. The safest way to update/install needed programs is to use their official websites.

Examples of the most relevant adware-type programs

DNS Unlocker: It’s an extremely aggressive adware, which applies various techniques for preventing its removal from the system. You can install for unblocking specific websites but all you can get is misleading pop-ups on your favorite sites. Clicking them is not recommended because DNS Unlocker ads may lead you to the infiltration of additional adware, like DNS Unblocker, DNS-Locker, DNS-Keeper. However, in most of the cases this program infiltrates computer without user’s authorization.

Outrageous Deal: It an adware that uses very intense marketing campaign for promoting itself. You can install it either from its official website or in a bundle with other programs. We highly recommend removing such programs because Outrageous Deal ads and similar notifications can lead you to malicious sites seeking to swindle your money. If you are not an experienced PC user, you may fail to get rid of this program manually, so automatic removal of Outrageous Deal is recommended.

Offers4U: This adware is promoted as a shopping helper, but you could hardly find a person who managed to save the money with its help. Typically, such programs use their ads for redirecting people to predetermined websites. That's why they are filled with various notifications about discounts and price comparisons. The main problem here is that you can never know what website you can be redirected to. If you want to avoid Offers4U redirects, you should remove this adware.

Fixing computer after the infiltration of adware 

There are two different methods that can be used when trying to remove Adware from the system:

Manual removal method: Each of adware parasites has its own removal steps that should be performed while trying to eliminate it from the system. They are written right after 2spyware security experts test the example of adware and find the easiest way to get rid of it. However, numerous cases have showed that manual adware removal can be complicated because these programs travel around in one pack with various components. In order to avoid leaving unwanted files and similar components on your computer, you should select Automatic removal option. can be performed automatic removal option.

Automatic adware removal: The most reliable way to remove adware and its components is to use legitimate anti-spyware program. In this case, you should choose wisely because there are lots of misleading reviews on the Internet. 2spyware team always notifies the user what tools can be used for the removal of specific example of adware virus. Typically, such programs have special parasite signature databases that allow them to detect and eliminate the most of unwanted components.

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Information updated: 2016-03-09

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