Learn something new every day
More Info... by email
Also known as anti-spyware or spyware removal tools, an anti-adware utility can rid your computer of unwanted applications, such as tracking cookies and different types of malware like Trojan horses and keyloggers.
Tracking cookies do exactly what the name implies. They "track" your movements on the Internet and collect information about your surfing habits. This information may be used to send you targeted and unsolicited advertisements, or "spam." Your information may also be rented, sold, or traded to third parties. Certain cookies are considered harmless and are only used to help make your navigational experience simpler and more pleasant. If a site remembers your password so you don't have to log in each time you visit, that is an example of a "harmless" cookie.
A Trojan horse may destroy or alter important data, or it may send your personal data to another computer. A keylogger logs every keystroke and may also attempt to send your information to another location. Typical anti-virus programs rarely detect these items, so it is important to run a good anti-adware program along with anti-virus.
If your system seems sluggish, and different applications take longer to load, if you are constantly faced with pop ups, pop-unders, and ads you did not click, or if you are receiving more spam-—especially specifically targeted ads--your computer is most likely infected with adware.
An anti-adware program is an effective utility for controlling and removing these unwanted intruders, many of which are not detected by anti-virus programs or firewalls. Anti-adware can be configured to scan your system and recognize problematic applications. For example, anti-adware will let you know if a cookie is harmless or critical. Critical objects will be singled out and the program will then ask you what you want to do with each one. Many anti-adware programs even offer recommendations for how each object should be disposed of, such as if you should delete the item or if you need to quarantine it.
Computers are great tools and the internet is often thought of as a link to the rest of the world, but there are hidden dangers. Spyware does not only invade your privacy it can also be used for identity theft. It is important to employ certain tools, such as anti-adware in order to protect yourself. In fact, it is a good idea to run at least two different anti-adware programs since new varieties of adware are created every day. One program may catch something the other one missed.
I can't believe there are so many people who sit around thinking up ways to try and break into other people's computers.
Adware is particularly annoying because often it is a supposedly legitimate piece of coding, designed to pick up information about you in order to report back to a company on your habits. Just a slightly extreme and invasive form of customer survey.
An adware remover won't get everything though. Your best bet is to be vigilant in not clicking on links that get sent to you through email, not allowing cookies to be installed without your permission, and absolutely installing the security patches that Microsoft sends through to your machine.
Or, failing that, you could just keep your computer from connecting to the internet.
Even if your computer isn't performing slower than usual it is a good idea to run anti-adware programs on your computer.
A lot of modern invasive programs like these are smart enough to know that if they slow down your machine you will detect and remove them. The goal is to keep the program on your computer for as long as possible.
There are even types of malware that will exploit a hole in your system, then seal up the hole so no other programs can get in, because that makes it easier for them to stay put themselves.
You don't have to pay for an adware removal program, just hunt around for a decent free version. You might be surprised by what turns out to be hiding on your computer.
One of our editors will review your suggestion and make changes if warranted. Note that depending on the number of suggestions we receive, this can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Thank you for helping to improve wiseGEEK!