Adware is a type of software that could be installed on a computer with consent from the end user. This software may monitor internet usage in order to display advertisements from third parties. It is often packed inside of legitimate downloads. The main purpose of these applications is to provide the end user with advertisements. It could also be downloaded freely typically with consent from the user.
Adware could be integrated with software in such a way that it cannot be removed or bypassed. It is not a virus and it may or may not be detected by anti-virus scanning programs. It is not distributed the same way that viruses are spread. It could actually be attached with something that the end user actually chooses to download. Often you could find adware embedded in free downloads that may do more than the stated purpose of the software.
Adware could be considered a form of direct marketing. Banners, toolbars, and pop-up windows could be used to provide advertisements to the end user. Other forms could make changes to your browser homepage or even take some control over your system with the intent of generating sales for a third party. Revenue from advertising could be generated by targeting advertisements towards the end users computing habits. Revenue could either be earned by the vendor or the vendor’s partners and associates. Adware is used by shareware programmers with intentions of making money from a product, other than attempting to sell it to the user. There are numerous companies such as Web3000, EverAd, and Aureate that offer to display banner ads in exchange for a portion of the revenue from banner sales.
Adware is basically small advertising software that could be included within a larger computer program or a file that you have downloaded from the internet. Often it is poorly written and may pose a threat to your computer system. It is similar to spyware however it does not necessarily transmit personal information. There is always the possibility of adware being bundled with spyware to collect personal information. Ultimately adware is not good for your computer for many reasons and it could pose a threat to the security of your computer system.