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Adware is a form of software that downloads or displays unwanted ads when a user is online, collects marketing data and other information without the user's knowledge or redirects search requests to certain advertising websites. Adware that does not notify the user and attains his or her consent is regarded as malicious.
Adware is the name given to programs that are designed to display advertisements on your computer, redirect your search requests to advertising websites, and collect marketing-type data about you – for example, the types of websites that you visit – so that customized adverts can be displayed.
Adware – that collects data with your consent – should not be confused with Trojan spyware programs that collect information, without your permission. If Adware does not notify you that it is gathering information, it is regarded as malicious – for example, malware that uses Trojan-Spy behavior.
Other than displaying advertisements and collecting data, Adware doesn’t generally make its presence known. Usually, there will be no signs of the program in your computer’s system tray – and no indication in your program menu that files have been installed on your machine.
There are two main ways in which Adware can get onto your computer:
Often, Adware programs do not have any uninstall procedures and they can use technologies that are similar to those used by viruses to penetrate your computer and run unnoticed. However, because there may be legitimate reasons why Adware is present on your computer, antivirus solutions may not be able to determine whether a specific Adware program poses a threat to you. Kaspersky Lab’s products give you the option on whether to detect Adware – and how to react to it:
Many freeware and shareware programs stop displaying adverts, as soon as you’ve registered or purchased the program. However, some programs use built-in, third-party Adware utilities and, in some cases, these utilities can remain installed on your computer after you’ve registered or purchased the program. For some programs, if you remove the Adware component that may cause the program to malfunction.
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