If you have an adware infection on your computer, you know it: the constant advertisements are a tell-tale sign. Nobody likes these things, so let’s take a look at what they are, how to get rid of them!
How Does Adware Get On My Computer Anyway?
Short answer: By using it.
Long answer: There are a variety of factors, such as how well your computer is protected from adware (which is different from virus protection, more on that later) and what you use the computer for. High risk groups for adware infections include music downloading and video downloading.
Do They Just Exist to Annoy Me?
They exist to line the pockets of whoever wrote them. When the ads show up on your computer, someone else is getting paid!
As an extra bit of fun, in addition to just being annoying, it also can cause your computer to slow significantly, and uses up a lot of bandwidth (leaving you with less to use the internet with)
How Do I Get Rid Of Them?
This is the most important part. Getting rid of adware can be, in short, a huge pain in the butt. If you look around on the web, you can usually find free adware scanning programs so you can figure out exactly what kind of adware you have on your computer. From there, you can Google the type of infection found and look for removal instructions (or bite the bullet and pay for adware removal)
Stay away from free adware removal programs! Many of them are designed to just infect your computer with their own adware instead of actually helping you. Free scanning is fine, but watch out for programs that advertise free removal.
What’s The Best Protection Against Them?
There are a number of anti-adware programs out there that include both removal of adware as well as active protection against adware. Note that anti-virus software generally does not protect you from adware, because the two types of software are quite different (namely, viruses actively cripple your computer instead of just annoy you with ads).
Every computer that is used to access the internet should be protected by some manner of adware scanning software, just to prevent any infection.