Adware

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Adware is software that is installed on a computer, usually without the owner’s knowledge, that will display advertising in the computer’s web browser. Many people argue that adware is not spyware. Adware is a type of spyware because it keeps track of a user’s browsing and shopping habits. This tracking makes adware also spyware.

The only difference is that spyware actually transmits the collected data to a third party or computer. Adware, in most cases, only displays advertising that is directed at the computer user. Adware is often considered legitimate software.

Adware is often packaged with another software package or game. This is how adware is installed most of the time. A person agrees to install the adware in return for using some software package or game for free. This ploy is the most common way to install adware.

A free software utility is offered that you just must have. You have a choice to pay for the software or install some adware and use it for free. The company that created the software utility gets paid by the adware company.

Often, the adware is installed without the user really knowing it. The user has to agree to install the adware, but the agreement is buried in small print. Often, they have no idea what they are agreeing with. The result is advertising that is targeted based on the user’s habits. This advertising has an unfair advantage. The adware knows what you are interested in and where you have been on the web. This knowledge is translated into targeted advertising that is very effective.

Adware is very powerful and very dangerous. You should read the install agreements of your software very carefully. It may include an agreement to allow installing adware. Protect yourself.

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