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How Do I Block Adware?

Adware may be unknowingly downloaded onto a person's computer while downloading other computer programs.
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  • Written By: A.E. Freeman
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 20 July 2014
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    Conjecture Corporation
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Although adware doesn't wreck your computer the same way a virus will, it can prevent you from getting work done, as annoying advertisements constantly pop up on your screen. You can block adware in several ways. You can install anti-virus software that will scan your computer for adware. You can also install a pop-up blocker, which will keep ads for adware away. Another way to block adware is not to install any programs before reading the licensing thoroughly.

Some forms of adware simply display advertisements in exchange for free software. Adware can also function as spyware, which tracks your browsing so that it can show you ads targeted to your interests. Spyware can be risky, as your private information can land in the wrong hands.

Install an anti-virus program to scan your computer. You should make sure your computer does not already have adware on it before you take other steps to block adware. As some anti-virus programs can be pricey, you may want to find a free yet still reliable one. The anti-virus software will pick up on any adware or spyware you have installed and offer to delete or quarantine it on your computer.

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The next way to block adware is not to install software unless you specifically requested it or without reading all the details on the software before installation. A number of otherwise legitimate free software programs have adware installed, as it is how they make money. You should read the license agreement, which will appear when the option to download and install the software does. It will mention if adware is included. If it is, do not install the program.

Unless you planned on installing software, do not install anything simply because a dialogue box appears on your screen, asking you to click yes to install a program.. Some forms of adware or spyware will attempt to trick you into installing them after you click on a link in a web browser. Most operating systems have protections built in that aim to make you aware of accidentally installing malicious software.

Use a web browser that has a pop-up blocker built in or install a separate pop-up blocker. Many companies that produce adware will try to get you to install the products by having a window pop up on your screen. The best way to block adware is to limit your access to companies that offer it in the first place.

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Discuss this Article

Melonlity
Post 3

There are some very good, standalone adware scanners that are free. Do some research to find them.

You're probably fine with a good antivirus program, but some of those standalone ones are more comprehensive and have ways to insulate your browser against spyware attacks. Quite often, those offer the best protection you can get and those programs are worth downloading, updating and using to scan your system from time to time.

I went from using only an antivirus scanner for a year to using one in conjuction with an adware/spyware scanner. I was amazed how many files the antivirus scanner missed.

Markerrag
Post 2

@Logicfest -- most of the time, a dialog box will claim you need to update something that should update on its own, anyway. Such boxes are ways to fool you.

If you see, for example, that a PDF reader or an audio player needs to be updates, you can check to see if that is true by opening the program referred to directly and having it check for updates. It can be foolhardy to click an "update" box that pops up on the Internet. That is the main way people pick up spyware.

Logicfest
Post 1

One of the best pieces of advice in this article is in the next to last paragraph. When you are on the Internet it is not unusual to run across a dialog box directing you to install or update something that may or may not seem familiar. Don't ever click that box unless you are certain.

A lot of times, that dialog box will flash additional messages warning you to not close it if you try to close the page that created the dialog. That is a red flag. If that happens, terminate your browser immediately through your task manager and avoid that page in the future.

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