When you typically browse the internet, you most probably encounter strange pop-up windows with ads of unwanted products or services--something you may have never wished. Off late, internet users have grown aware of it and tend to avoid websites that prompt with weird ads and messages. However, not many of you know if it’s a deliberate infection from a potentially harmful malware aka adware. It takes savviness to learn more about the problem and find solutions. The problem is: the information on the internet is so disintegrated and users find it difficult to source relevant pieces of information in a single page. Well, here’s an attempt to gather all the cattle under one roof.
Diagnosing the infection
Often, identifying the adware infection is the biggest hurdle. Average users really can’t distinguish between an infection and pop-ups triggered by unknown websites, where the latter problem is resolved by just closing the website. Typically, the infection occurs when an unwary user visits a shady website, which leads the user into downloading a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP). This program when installed will run background processes that will pop-up irrelevant ads. At times, the programs are worse, any link you click potentially redirects you to an ad website. Moreover, you’ll see fake updates for popular software, which when clicked takes you to junk websites.
Adware are released on the web with specific goals--to generate revenue from random ad-clicks. With this ingrained in its DNA, the malicious code makes use of every opportunity and URL to trick users into clicking ads and in turn make money for the malware authors. In addition to financial goals, adware may also have collected information on the internet activity of the users and send it back to authors. The data collected could be used by the authors to spam users with even more ads.
Three simple steps to eliminate the adware
- Use an effective adware cleanup tool to scan and identify the risks. Usually, these tools will report malicious programs, if found any. Once it identifies the adware, remove it from your system.
- After you remove the adware, scan your system with a popular antivirus application for any additional threats. Should the app find any threats, promptly eliminate all the potential risks.
- And lastly, restart your system for a clean start.
Any infection can be kicked out from your machine by duly following these steps. For greater threats or risks, you should contact your security solution provider for more sophisticated products and solutions.