People’s mindshare about the existence of Adware for at least a decade has taken a backseat to more serious malware types like banking trojans, ransomware and cryptocurrency mining malware. However, Adware has a huge effect on how Windows operates, given that programs that illegally display adverts are earning money at the expense of consuming system resources of the host computer. Do take note that Adware in itself is not against the law, the installers where adware piggybacks are largely from legitimate apps. These unwelcome freeloaders get installed as part of a program that the user specifically wants to be installed, unfortunately, many people just accept the default installation option – making adware becoming installed in the process.
Once the adware is installed, the host software itself can be used free of charge, but product advertisements, etc. will be displayed. This is just annoying, but some adware can act like malware, such as collecting information and sending it to others. It is a problem when this happens. If the ad is simply displayed, it simply means that the display is bothersome, but some adware illegally collects and acquires the information in the installed terminal and sends it outside. Everyone is advised to be careful because many of adware is really spyware, but trying to hide such a goal. There are times, Adware/Spyware reveals its operations in the Terms of Service when the host software is installed, but who reads the entire lawyer-sounding Terms of Service.
When infected with adware, the following misbehavior can be observed from the use of the computer.
- The homepage set in the browsers installed changes unexpectedly. An adware that modifies the home page in this way is also known as a browser hijacker.
- Pop-up ad is displayed regularly, even if the computer is idle. However, since such pop-ups are suddenly displayed while browsing a web site on the Internet normally, it is not bothersome thing.
- A message asking you to purchase software is displayed consistently at regular intervals. If you display a warning message such as “Spyware detected!” As above, and press “OK”, you may be prompted to purchase fake software and receive financial damage. Such messages are not legitimate but specifically designed to infect your computer, without you knowing through social engineering attempts.
If you notice an adware infection, you have two options:
- Removal by security software
- Adware removal tool removal
Unlike malware etc., there is no need for adware to multiply itself and spread the infection, besides its authors have stressed repeatedly that their products are legal because users “agreed” with its installation. A PC infected with Adware is not necessary to be air-gapped immediately from the network. However, in addition to the fact that the adware is present on the device causes unwanted advertisements to be displayed, disinfection is desirable considering the possibility of information being exploited as spyware.
As a method of deletion, removal with security software or removal with a special removal tool can be easily performed, and deletion omissions will be less likely to occur. Also, there is a method to uninstall the software itself manually, but there is also a possibility of deletion leak, so be careful about this.
Preventive measures to prevent infection
If there is a risk that information will be extracted if you get infected with adware, what measures are effective to prevent infection in the first place? There are three points to keep in mind in order to avoid infection with adware using a computer:
- When installing free software etc., check whether it can be trusted.
- Do not install software from untrusted sites.
- Ignore suspicious pop-ups without pressing OK. Do not display pop-ups normally.
- Have at least one security solution installed.
- It is said that many cases of adware often go into a computer accompanying free software. It is fine if it is free software but it is safe and reliable, but don’t download suspicious things from the site and do not install them.
In addition, when you are browsing a website on the Internet, a pop-up may appear, such as “This PC is infected. Press OK to remove it.” If it is a warning issued by legitimate antivirus software, it is necessary to handle it as it is, but in most cases by pressing OK it is a mechanism to introduce malicious programs such as adware and malware.