You probably have adware or spyware on your computer without even realizing it. Most people don’t know what adware is, how it gets onto their computers, or what it does once it is installed. If you have used the internet, you have almost certainly been exposed to adware, and if you have downloaded any shareware or freeware, you are likely already infected.
Most adware is harmless. You may have adware on your machine that is required for some programs to run. Adware can be more sinister though if it has what is called ‘spyware’ on it. This makes it dangerous to have on your system.
You generally can’t identify and uninstall adware without help, nor can you effectively block it. Your older antivirus programs aren’t all that helpful with adware either. It isn’t technically a virus or a worm, so many of these older programs don’t recognize it as a problem.
To effectively protect yourself against adware and spyware, download a recent version of an antivirus program. You can also get a specific filter to block adware.
If you want full security for your computer, an adware filter is critical. This filter will automatically remove any program that comes with adware, and will block download of a program containing adware.
If you have an Internet service provider, check to see if you are given free adware protection as part of your contract. Some ISPs have built-in adware filters that activate when you go online. That doesn’t mean you can relax and do nothing though, you will still need to keep your anti-adware programs upgraded as needed and the signatures updated and verified.
Adware requires your permission for download. That doesn’t mean you have to know that you are giving permission. Some software will trick you into clicking a button that gives permission for download.
Be careful and extra attentive when you are online. Links to programs that contain adware and spyware are often very misleading. Only install software that is from a trusted source, and don’t download files off the Internet if you are not sure of their origin. You want to be able to verify that everything you download is adware-free.
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