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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Adware, or advertising-supported software, is any software package which automatically plays, displays, or downloads advertisements to a computer after the software is installed on it or while the application is being used. Some types of adware are also spyware[citation needed] and can be classified as privacy-invasive software.



Advertising functions are integrated into or bundled with the software, which is often designed to note what Internet sites the user visits and to present advertising pertinent to the types of goods or services featured there. Adware is usually seen by the developer as a way to recover development costs, and in some cases it may allow the software to be provided to the user free of charge or at a reduced price. The income derived from presenting advertisements to the user may allow or motivate the developer to continue to develop, maintain and upgrade the software product. Conversely, the advertisements may be seen by the user as interruptions or annoyances, or as distractions from the task at hand.

Some adware is also shareware, and so the word may be used as term of distinction to differentiate between types of shareware software. What differentiates adware from other shareware is that it is primarily advertising-supported. Users may also be given the option to pay for a "registered" or "licensed" copy to do away with the advertisements.

Adware can also download and install Spyware.[citation needed]

Well-known adware programs/programs distributed with adware

The Eudora e-mail client is a popular example of an adware "mode" in a program. After a trial period during which all program features are available, the user is offered a choice: a free (but feature-limited), an ad-supported mode with all the features enabled, or a paid mode that enables all features and turns off the ads.

Prevention and detection

Programs have been developed to detect, quarantine, and remove spyware. As there are many examples of adware software that are also spyware or malware, many of these detection programs have been developed to detect, quarantine, and remove adware as well. Among the more prominent of these applications are Ad-Aware, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Spybot - Search & Destroy.

Almost all commercial antivirus software currently detect adware and spyware, or offer a separate spyware detection package. The reluctance to add adware and spyware detection to commercial antivirus products was fueled by a fear of lawsuits. Kaspersky, for example, was sued by Zango for blocking the installation of their products. Zango software and components are almost universally detected as adware nowadays.[citation needed]

See also

External links

Simple English

Adware is an advertising computer program that can be installed by other people on someone's computer, sometimes without their permission. It is a controversial topic because sometimes business companies put the program there so they can see what people are doing or what web pages they are browsing. They then put an advertisement that is of the same subject as the web-page the person is looking at. This can be good if the person is trying to buy something, but many people do not want advertisement pop ups or banners. Many people also do not want other people to find out what they are doing or what web pages they are looking at. An example is in the popular peer to peer file sharing program, Kazaa. When someone downloads the official release, it installs adware on their computer that then sends advertisements to the computer. Some people do not like this so they use an illegally modified version of this program called Kazaa Lite.

Removal tools

Removal tools have been developed to assist users in clearing out these unwanted programs. Like many programs that people use for security, the program must be updated often. Updating allows the removal tool to recognize new types of adware. This can be done by downloading files over the internet using the 'update' option in the program.

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