Adware

What is Adware?

At its least elementary level, adware is typically a name of a computer program that refers to a malware which displays unwanted marketing material, or pop-ups, when you’re using the internet.

Also, they often tend to serve you with many bothersome push-notifications of some sort of ads, and they can change your homepage, or even infect your device with a virus, sometimes.

While they are certainly not the virus itself, they are exclusively vulnerable, and are often considered as spyware. And they carry with them malware. Let me explain.

Because of their vulnerabilities, malware can only take advantage. They serve as an express portal for malware into your device. And while it’s not principally harmful itself, adware can root long-term problems to your device.

How Do Adware Work?

Whenever an organisation decides they want to use it to support their software programs, the adware program is then integrated, or bundled with the plug-in itself. This permits their notifications to load automatically on a web browser.

Afterwards, Ad space is then sold to people, or some organisations that are interested in marketing the program to its users, in the name of profit making.

Further, profits that are generated from selling Ad space can be used to cover for various costs, like the program’s development expenses, for instance. Nevertheless, some organisations will even go to an extent of integrating pop-ups with their software in a way the software can’t run if the ads are not running.

Accordingly, if there are any active ad-blockers, they must be disabled first to allow for such programs to run. Another common habit of these so-called PUPs is, they act as spyware. They collect your personal data, and track your online habits. The problem; this gathered info is later leaked, or sold to third-parties.

Adware

Why Adware is Considered Harmful?

Firstly, the term “adware” is mainly used when describing software, or programs that exhibit nonstandard, or malicious behaviour. Whenever it tracks your browsing activities without your consent, it is, therefore, considered as some other form of spyware. Sometimes, a virus.

Accordingly, cybercriminals don’t only take advantage of the vulnerabilities of your browsers but also use the vulnerabilities on an ad’s network verification process to display their harmful adverts.

Likewise, adware programs are also capable of creating pop-up ads, pop-under, as well as windows or tabs which permits what is called drive-by downloads, whenever you’re visiting an infected site.

In the event where you are required to disable available ad-blockers to permit some unknown third-party program installation, you may be at risk of cyberattacks. Also, some of these malicious apps are known for preventing your antivirus program from launching. Let me explain.

It is because some programs are only genuine, but they don’t have uninstall procedures. As such, your antivirus program will only fail to determine the malicious applications from others.

How Do I Get Adware?

Since it is of greater concern, people are always asking the same question upon hearing about these creepy pop-ups, and why they are bad for their browsers, or devices. To answer your questions right, one of the two main ways below is how you’re likely going to get infected.

  • The first event is, you may come across, and download a software that contains them. Usually, shareware, or freeware. Then, without your prior consent, the program quietly but surely instals itself on your device.

  • Another scenario is through exposed sites. Once a weak site is infected with spyware, it is easier for the malware to take advantage of one of your browser’s vulnerabilities to deliver what is called drive-by download. That is how you start getting overwhelming ads on your browser, then it freezes, or crashes.

How Can I Tell if I Have an Adware Infection?

You may have an infection if you notice that it’s taking too much time to launch your programs. But you will also know that you have an infection when it is taking much longer than normal to load images, and other files. Below are some other obvious signs that you possibly have an infection.

  1. You are often bombarded with marketing content. Well, it is only usual to get some pop-ups of marketing content when you are browsing. It is also quite usual to come across ads with similar things you may have previously searched for. But if you’re being redirected to full page ads, and getting numerous pop-ups that are harder to cancel, this is a clear sign your system is infected.

  2. Slow network connection, browser freezing or constantly crashing. Because these ad programs tend to download massive amounts of advertising content from the web, your internet connection may slow down. Also, if your applications or programs keep crashing, or the whole system freezes up, these are all signs of a red flag.

  3. Changes on your browser’s homepage. You will also know that you are infected when there is a strange change on your browser’s homepage. These malicious programs are also known to alter your browser’s homepage. They can redirect you to some other vulnerable web pages which might then install more harmful programs, or allow other cybersecurity threats to sneak into your system.

In case you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it might only benefit you, if you opted for an advanced browser protection, and threats removal tool like Guardio, for example. This light security extension will not only protect you from unwanted pop-ups, it also eliminates threats on site, and cleans your browser.

Types of Adware

These things often take the forms of marketing content pop-ups, or banners. They can also act in the following ways.

  • Acting as spyware. Some can track your online habits to tailor very specific ads, and deliver them to you. That is why they are considered as spyware.

  • Working as the middleman. These malicious programs can direct your web activities through them so they can share with you their ads.

  • Excess Data consumption. They will often drain your data with their huge amounts of pop-up downloads.

  • Slow down your computer. These things can also slow down your machine because they consume a lot of power. It affects your overall device performance.

How to Protect Myself from Adware?

There are plenty of different tactics you can exploit to address the different variations of harmful programs. These actions can provide a tougher defence for your system if used in a combination.

  • Ad blockers. Ad blockers will typically block pop-ups, or ad notifications from showing up on your screen. They eliminate the chances of you following vulnerable links, or pages while blocking drive-by downloads.

  • Subscribe to, or pay for ad-free versions of popular services. One of the simplest and most obvious ways to avoid ads is simply paying for your preferred services. Most, if not all businesses don’t serve ads to premium subscribers. This helps in assuring that malicious programs can’t reach their premium subscriptions.

  • Make use of an antivirus program. Whether you are negatively affected with malware, or just some other form of cybersecurity threats, an antivirus program can be especially beneficial. These programs will often clean up your device, and eliminate unwanted programs, or onboard threats.

With many cybersecurity threats, however, being aware, and understanding the issue is always the second-best defence against malicious programs. Also, companies must be aware of the rewards, and the costs of using adware in supporting their programs.

Again, users need also to be able to determine the kind of programs, or apps that are more critical for them to buy, and those they can afford to live without to avoid cybersecurity threats.

Mac Adware

These nuisance programs are not only designed for computer web browsers. Certainly, you may think that your Mac is safe from these harmful pop-ups, but it is quite the opposite. Adware is representing one of the greatest threats to Mac computers out there.

Mac adware is typically a type of modern-day PUP, or in other words, potentially unwanted program designed to infect your Mac device so it redirects you to malicious sites, or starts displaying intuitive in-browser advertisements.

Moreover, these so-called PUPs are becoming more popular every other year, with AV-TEST data which reported that 673,676 fresh variations of macOS malware were developed in 2020 alone.

This was a super surge in malware development compared to the 2019 report that showed only 58,193 variations of newly developed malware in that year. Luckily for us, there is a way you can spot, and remove adware from Mac, continue with your usual internet activities.

How Can I Tell if My Mac is Infected with Adware?

Sometimes, Adware detection can be especially hard because it is difficult to tell between genuine notifications, and the harmful ads. How can you tell or check for signs that your Mac computer is infected? Here are some tell-tales that signal your Mac device is certainly infected.

  • Your homepage suddenly changes, or you are being redirected elsewhere

  • Your browser speed has slowed down than normal, or it keeps freezing, or crashing

  • You are seeing numerous pop-ups, or advert banners in the most unusual places

  • You are coming across text adverts throughout the web pages you are visiting

  • Suspicious “error”, or “warning” texts certainly show up out of nowhere

  • A software, or a program installs itself in your system without you knowing

If any of these things we are discussing sounds familiar to you, they often exist in your everyday internet life, the only obvious thing to be aware of is, you have an unwanted guest installed in your Mac. Fortunately for you, there is a way to remove adware from Mac.

How to Remove Adware from Mac?

Best things last. Or maybe first. With that said, the quickest, and most easy ways to spot, and get rid of these programs from your MacBook is simply to use an antivirus program.

Further, these programs can automatically scan your computer, and get rid of a virus, and other unwanted programs from your device. Likewise, installing an advanced browser protection software is also another awesome way to knock-out threats from your computer system.

Also, since it’s nothing new, or different from removing malware from Chrome, reading How to Remove Malware on Chrome blog post will help you with the best tips on how to get rid of pop-up threats from your Mac or Android devices.

Regardless, the first step to remove adware from Mac, is to install a browser protection tool that provides an extra layer of security that assures your device is broadly protected. Guardio is not only lighter, it works the same as an antivirus, or antispyware, only it does the work better, and without sacrificing your browsing speed.

Mobile Adware

More and more people are continually suffering attacks on their mobile phones, thanks to the dawn, and wave of mobile adware. They are among the most typical forms of cyberthreats which are designed to gather private info from your hand device through malicious pop-up ads that sometimes carry malware.

The main enemy, however, is the exact point of origin of these programs. The main issue with it, is pinpointing how a mobile device became infected in the first place. These programs are designed to slowly creep unnoticed into your mobile without an uninstallation procedure.

Removing it, is therefore, extremely hard. And the data it collects like your phone’s operating system, or images, and location data, for example, are a greater security concern.

Moreover, these malicious programs are well known to be distributed through mobile applications. Recent reports from Statista shows there are 2.5 million mobile applications that are available for Google Play, and Android OS users. And about 1.8 million are available for Mac users at the Apple Store.

Further, these numbers are very enormous, and only reveal the extensive possibilities of mobile spyware attacks. It also gives a clear warning why cyber-criminals are focussing on mobile phones. An example of the power of an adware plague is the Agent Smith. Let me explain.

Agent Smith happens to be a new variation of mobile device malware that was recently detected, and has silently, but surely infested over 25 million mobile devices globally.

In order to achieve this, Agent Smith limited Google applications, and subjugated recognized vulnerabilities in Android OS, changing installed apps inevitably with the versions that have malicious codes, all without the consent of the device’s users.

Similarly, it also oppressed the device’s resources by displaying fake advertisement content which could produce profits through stealing bank authorizations.

How to Protect Yourself from Mobile Adware?

Prevention is always the best thing to do when it comes to protecting yourself against viruses, or other things. Because it is only hard to remove these harmful programs once they are installed on your phone. For your best knowledge, we have put together some tricks to help you guard yourself from these nuisance PUPs.

  • Strictly download your applications from the best known sources, only. In this case, Apple, or Google Play Stores. Also, pay close attention to user reviews, and the number of downloads.
  • Check if the kind of functions an application is asking you to access are truly necessary. If a flashlight software, for example, wants access to your location, or contacts, that is a sign you should run.
  • If it is not necessary, avoid permitting applications to run in the background.
  • Keep your applications, and devices up-to-date with current software versions, and available security patches.

Lastly, since it is evident that cyber-criminals can attack IOS and Android users, it’s only best to utilize the best security tools to double your device, and browser protection.

How to Remove Adware

Just like we have already learned, adware is only one of those things that appeared to have, well, just happened. At first, it was only some easy push-notifications. However, with the introduction of “ad-blockers”, advertising industries decided to sort other ways to catch our attentions.

Some other push-notifications are still unlockable, thanks to identity theft criminals, and others who take advantage of pop-up’s vulnerabilities. While they always almost only appeared as small windows below the main window, today some can pop-up, and occupy your entire screen.

In most cases, all you need to do is choose close, and they will just disappear. But isn’t it still annoying to see things popping up on the screen, every other time you are browsing?

Besides, it even gets worse when these PUPs start to slow-down your computer system. Also, the most intrusive is harder to uninstall. They are the kind that are often displaying random ads, and freeze or crash your browser.

Helpful Tips and Tricks to Remove Adware

  1. Restoring windows to their previous state. If you have an idea of when the program might have been installed on your system, you may be lucky, and able to be rid of it by performing a Windows system restore.

You can do this by putting your computer to restore to a certain point before the program was installed in it, all while you are hoping that it didn’t install along with an app you truly needed.

  1. Consider paying for premium upgrades. Sometimes apps come with the option “get remove ads” by paying for an upgrade fee. Browsers like Opera, for instance, work like this: You get a free copy of the services (with ads), or they charge a fee for an ad-free version that doesn’t overwhelm you with ads.

  2. Research for instructions. Another step for removing these programs is to search the web for instructions of undoing it. In case you were infested by a common program, this choice can easily work. Still, it involves investigating the windows registry.

This isn’t often easy to get through, even for some cool geeks. If, let’s say something gets out of hand, you might end up destabilizing your whole system.

  1. Scan your computer. Scanning your computer with an anti-spyware program is very essential if you are looking to remove adware from your computer. Once the program has finished scanning the system, it will ask you to restart the computer. Doing so, and repeating the process will ensure that all traces of threats are eliminated.

  2. Undo previous damages. After you are done scanning the system, it is now time to restart the settings on your browser. Look up for “add or remove programs” from the control panel, then locate programs that are unfamiliar, and remove them. It helps to also ensure that your host files are not seized, and any suspicious websites are not added to your Trusted Site Zones.

  3. Run the system in Safe Mode. We often experience that most of these unwanted programs are using resuscitators to survive in your computer regardless of how hard you try to get rid of them. Restarting, and operating in Safe Mode will only permit specific, and the most essential programs to run. This will help speed up your machine, and eliminate resuscitators.

Accordingly, if you want to avoid the stress of doing these things by yourself, perhaps you can opt for an alternative of getting a useful third-party program to handle the tough work. An adware detection, and removal program is available for free, and cheaper paid subscriptions. Equally, if you have a lot to deal with, and more than enough things to keep up with, isn’t it only a good idea to spend the dollar wisely on a program that can take care of the hard work at your best convenience, all from the background in a much similar way as the antivirus programs, only it is more advanced, and better? Also, while we are still on the subject, it just so happens that many antivirus companies will only not check for these types of sneaky programs so they can sell you another service. But that is just life. Get a free plan of Guardio security extension to check if your system is running any malicious program, and get rid of them.

Chrome Adware

Picture this. You are busy doing your routine browsing, and a push notification suddenly pop-up requesting you to install some extension, or program. You cancel it but after some time, you realize there is a strange change in your default browser’s appearance. What in the world?! You start wondering.

The chances are, you have an unwanted program, or possibly a virus onboard, and it won’t just go away, or stop messing with your system unless you do something.

These infuriating bits of code will only try to run other malicious programs, or add-ons, and they can change settings on your chrome browser. Also, your entire system might end up getting a virus if you don’t act asap.

Therefore, the first step to do should be to__ remove adware from Chrome__ before it spreads into your device. Doing this ensures that your machine is safe, and free from any possible cybersecurity hazards.

How to Remove Adware from Chrome?

The one thing we can all agree upon, Google’s Chrome is the best available internet gateway till date. And the best part, it also supports extensions, and add-ons. Normally, the add-ons, or program extensions that come from the Google Play Store itself are fine.

However, some other sneaky websites out there are often tempting to run their malicious extensions on your browser without permission. Once these third-party extensions are installed, they begin to bombard you with dozens of annoying ads that might end up crashing your browser, or infecting your device with a virus.

Also, you can see some pop-ups containing, well, adult kind of ads, you will almost kick yourself if let’s say, a minor was around. Furthermore, the program might possibly be running in the background, or just causing chaos right in front of your eyes.

Accordingly, the best way you can confirm the presence of a rogue extension is by checking it from your list of extensions. And because you almost won’t know it by name, it helps if you just go to your browser’s extension settings, and remove any extensions, or add-ons that you don’t recognize.

Find and Remove Malicious Program

Google Chrome is designed to assist you to locate malicious programs that are present on your device. Once it gets them, all you will need to do is click remove, and Chrome will get rid of them, shut all extensions, and restore its settings back to default. To manually check your browser for unwanted programs:

  • Launch your browser

  • Click the three dots on the top-right side of your browser window

  • Go to settings > Advanced > Reset and clean up, then click Find to start the scan.

  • If Google finds anything, it may ask you to Remove it. Do it, and restart your system.

How to Protect Your Chrome from Pop-ups?

We understand your concerns regarding push notifications. Many advertising websites have only gone too far with their adverts. We also know just how frustrating it is to put up with the intuitive ads that are thrusted before our eyes to distract us.

However, there is no need for you to deal with pop-ups that overstep, especially if you have the right tools at hand to stop them from infesting your Chrome browser. Adding Guardio to Chrome is one the advanced ways you can prevent cybersecurity breaches from invading your browser, and harming your device.

How to Block Pop-ups in Google Chrome

If you have had enough with pop-ups, and you’re feeling like now is the time to say goodbye to ads, by following these simple directives, you are sure to block pop-ups from showing on your browser.

Disable Pop-ups from Your Desktop Browser

  • Launch the kebab menu (Chrome menu) by tapping on the three dots at the top-right corner of your browser window.

  • Go to settings > privacy and security > site settings > pop-ups and redirects, and;

  • Click the toggle to turn grey to cut-off the pop-ups.

Disable Pop-ups from Your Phone Browser

Whether you are using IOS or Android, these guidelines will help you disable pop-ups from your mobile browser, regardless of the operating system (OS).

  • Launch Chrome on your device, and open the menu by tapping on the three popular dots located at the top-right corner of the window.

-__ Go to__ settings > site settings > pop-ups and redirects, and;

  • Click on the toggle to cut-off pop-ups from your mobile browser.

Aside from the above instructions for disabling pop-ups from your Google Chrome browser, there are also some trusted, advanced browser security extensions that are especially rewarding for Chrome users. These programs can run in the background and block the ads while stopping, and eliminating other threats at site. A lighter version that doesn’t slow-down your computer is available for free, and cheaper paid premiums.

Final Thoughts

While the wake of new technology has only given birth to loads of interesting things, well, not everything is certainly interesting, though, at Guardio, we strongly believe that technology should only work best for the people, not the opposite. You should be free to surf the web without the fear of being bombarded with a dozen ads, or your gadget getting infected with a virus.

Therefore, if at all our safety tips for keeping your browser safe, and free from pop-ups have assisted to enhance your digital experience, we are flattered, and surely happy for you. Equally, in case you need more advice on cybersecurity issues, you are sure to check what is available on our blog.

I like the reassurance I have that Guardio is checking up on things for me! They have prevented me from opening some links that were suspicious before I opened them! That was awesome! They also have removed some issues for me. Definitely worth the money!

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Dorothy Carlisle

Facebook
Apr 30, 2020

I have been so impressed with the…

I have been so impressed with the timely transition to a new device without any fuss. Your notifications are timely and, dare I say, fun to read. Nice that you have a thread of humor! Thanks.

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Michelle Allen

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Apr 24, 2020

Have never given PC security much…

Have never given PC security much thought. Usually just download a free one! The last couple of years the free ones have annoyed me so much with their constant advertisements for themselves etc, that I removed them from my computer. It was great to discover Guardio, It has been a relief having it with so much going on in the world and so many nasty people scamming innocent people. It's great when I think I want to click on a site and a Guardio message come up saying they believe it is a dangerous site so I don't go there.

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Merle Hudson

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