What is Adware and How to Prevent It
By Christine Margret 5 minutes
Adware is an advertising malware that displays unwanted ads on the user’s screen.
It uses special software to push malicious ads on a user’s computer. Such ads are quite irritating as they almost take the whole screen space, and sometimes erode user’s security settings to track and monitor online activities.
How Dangerous Is It?
Adware is not very dangerous. It doesn’t harm your cybersecurity. If it gets injected into a device then it will find out the user’s location and all the frequently visited sites.
Later, the injected malware launch targeted ads based on the user’s browsing history. Sometimes, adware author sells users browsing history to make money. Advertisers use this history to send customize ads exactly according to the users’ viewing habits.
How do I Know If I Have It?
If you have it, a few signs will automatically show up on your system . You will notice that your browser unexpectedly slows down and the home page of your browser looks changed without your notice.
Also, some more changes will occur, you will see popup ads on extremely rare places and web pages that you mostly browse will no longer appear.
Website links will redirect you to an entirely new site and various extensions, software plugins, and toolbars will automatically start installing on your system. You may also experience a browser crash.
How Does It Infect?
The adware usually traps your system through a downloadable software program that you mistakenly install as it appears to be a freeware or shareware. Once you download such a malicious program, it infects your system without you realizing it.
The other way adware infects is by visiting an infected site that disrupts your browser’s vulnerability and transfers it into the browser.
Once this malware settles into your browser, it gathers your browsing information, redirects you to malicious sources and popups additional advertisements into your browser.
Types of Adware
Adware software is designed to hijack a device’s browser in order to throw multiple ads and earn revenue. There are different types of this malware, depending upon the targeted device or platform. A few of the most common types are Mac adware, Android adware, and Windows adware.
How to Remove It
Adware is quite a tricky malware, its author usually writes it in the same programming language that a legitimate service or website uses.
Therefore, you have to block those specific scripts running inside your browser. When you disable those scripts, the same malicious website will also be disabled. Keep in mind that you can remove those malicious scripts only by using adware removal tools.
How to Get Rid of It on Android
If your Android device if infected with adware then the best practice is to delete all the recent downloaded apps that contain adware inside.
After uninstalling recently downloaded apps, don’t forget to reboot your Android device and use the safest browsers. To learn more, read our guide on most secure browsers to protect your online privacy.
How to remove adware from chrome
If your Google Chrome browser has been hit hard by this malware, then don’t worry and follow these quick and simple steps to remove it from Google Chrome:
- Open Chrome on your device
- Go to the top right corner
- Click the three-dot menu to open Settings
- Click Advanced (mentioned at the bottom)
- Go to Reset Settings
- Under Reset Settings, click “Restore settings to their original defaults”.
How to remove adware on Mac
The best way to remove it from Windows or Mac is to use the adware removal tools. However, if you want to remove it manually from Mac then follow these simple instructions:
- Open Activity Monitor from LaunchPad
- In Activity Monitor, look for a suspected application (usually InstallMac and Genio are common adware apps)
- Click on the Force Quit button appearing on the top left corner of the window
- Navigate back to the suspect app and drag it into the trash
- Restart your Mac device
- Empty Trash.
Remove adware from phone
This is a generic method to remove malware from a phone:
- Open phone’s Settings
- Click on Apps
- Find the malicious app and uninstall it (Remove recently installed apps one by one if you can’t find the one malicious app)
If you find that the app needs to be Force stop then Follow these steps:
- Tap on Clear cache
- Tap on Clear data
- Restart your phone.
How to Prevent Adware
In order to prevent adware always update your operating system/software. Never click on the mysterious files and don’t download attachments from unknown sources.
Use ad-blocker, FastestVPN offers a high-quality ad-blocking feature to protect your online privacy on the go. You should also install antivirus and anti-malware programs and only visit trusted sources for online shopping and browsing.
Adware is a malware that traps you to click and install malicious software into your browser and bombarded ads on your screen. You can keep your browser secure by installing anti-malware software and avoid clicking on the unknown sources. Last but not the least; never forget to frequently perform scans to keep your system protected and up to date.