Adware, anti-spyware, spyware software, malware, viruses, anti-virus softwares, these terms can all be a little confusing. With a few moments of your time we can define and learn about these different software programs, how to prevent them, and how to remove them from our computers.
Adware is defined as a software application that automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertising material to a computer after a purchased or free software is installed on it. Users of the purchased or free software are usually offered the option to buy a “registered” or “licensed” copy of the software that is free of the adware. Adware can also cause different things to happen with your computer. For example:
Causes desktop pop-up ads,
Causes un-needed icons on your desktop,
Causes endless pop-up windows,
Causes the same pop-up to appear when you go to another page,
Causes your computer and internet to run slower.
Some adware software contains another program called Spyware.
Spyware is a program that records personal information about the user. A programmer or computer hacker then retrieves that information and uses it to steal from the user by accessing bank accounts, credit card information, and whatever else they feel like stealing. Bad for the user and a bit dramatic sounding, but it certainly does happen every day.
Something else we should be aware of is a thing called computer viruses. These “viruses” infect our computers through software downloads; email files and downloads are a big source of this infection. Different names of viruses included:
malicious software, also called malware.
Viruses are removed from your computer using anti-virus software. These programs eliminate the “bad” software by identifying and neturalizing it. They then neturalize it by attempting to repair the file by removing the virus, by quarantine of the bad file, or by even deleting the infected file.
Preventing and Removing Spyware, Adware, and Viruses
The most obvious of ways to prevent an infection of unwanted software and viruses is no NOT download free or cheap programs you see on banner ads or pop-ups. More than likely, if the advertiser paid for that ad, they plan to make money off of whoever clicks on that ad. Don’t open emails from senders you don’t know; just because they look interesting, resist the temptation.
Many programs have been developed in order to detect, quarantine, and remove unwanted adware, spyware and viruses from your computer. Most adware removal programs include spyware removal, but not all offer virus removal. So pay attention when you are looking for a removal program; you may only get part of the “bad” programs removed. Something else to be aware of is that almost all removal programs require a periodic update to keep current with the ever increasing threats that invade our computers. These updates are done online or by purchasing upgrade software.