What is Adware
Adware is a term used to describe a program that displays intrusive ads and is considered privacy invasive. Adware can slow down your Internet connection by downloading advertisements. Sometimes programming flaws in the adware can make your computer unstable. Advertising pop-ups can also distract you and waste your time if they have to be closed before you can continue using your PC.
There are several types of adware: some may hijack users' Internet browser settings by adding various redirects; others may deliver unwanted pop-up ads. Some adware programs do not show any visible signs of infiltration, however, they are able to track users' browsing habits by recording IP addresses, identifier numbers, information of operating systems, browser history, URLs visited, search queries entered, and other information. Moreover, most adware programs are badly programmed, and thus can disrupt the normal functions of users' operating systems.
How to avoid adware infection?
1. To avoid installation of adware, Internet users should express great caution when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client, be sure to opt-out of installation of any advertised browser plug-ins by clicking on a 'Decline' button. When installing previously downloaded freeware, always choose 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical', since choosing the default options can lead to unwanted installation of bundled adware.
2. Do not open email attachments from unknown sources or files sent through an instant messenger. If you're not familiar with the sender, do not open, download, or execute any files or email attachments. Some viruses replicate themselves and spread via email. Stay on the safe side and confirm that the attachment was sent from a trusted source before you open it.
In addition to these measures, ensure you keep your Internet browsers updated.