Reviewed by Sep 30, 2020| Updated on
Adware is software that shows ads on a computer screen or mobile device, redirects search results to advertisement websites, and collects user data for marketing purposes.
The aim of adware is to generate revenue by serving advertising to an Internet user while browsing the web or during the initial installation of programs or applications such as toolbars or games. Adware can take a number of forms, including full-screen advertisements, videos, and pop-ups from display and banner advertising.
Some adware is legitimate and secure to use, but some in nature can be malicious. Users may often disable the adware frequency or the types of downloads they enable by controlling pop-up controls and preferences within their internet browsers.
Adware, which works well with most browsers, can monitor which websites a user visits and then display ads based on the types of websites that are accessed. Adware is typically not a threat to a computer device, but it is often disruptive and irritating. Computer users hardly ever notice it, rarely letting its presence be known.
In general, adware creates revenue in two ways: a user's view of ads, and a pay-per-click payment generated when a user clicks on the ad.
Some find adware to be synonymous with malware, which is malicious software designed to harm a device or network. Malware styles include malware, worms, spyware, adware, and others. Malicious adware will find its way through pop-up advertisements, unclosable windows and the like into computers.
When malicious adware is on a device, it may perform a number of unwanted activities, such as monitoring the location of a user, search behaviour, and history of visiting the web page so the malware developer will sell this information to third parties.
There are programs available which can track, prevent, and remove adware. These are always optional, or these come as part of antivirus apps. Kaspersky, Avast, Bitdefender, and AVG are among several common free choices.