Do you want to know how to recognize adware, resist it and prevent annoying programs from flooding your PC? We research different types of adware to effectively counter them.

You may be interested in taking a look at our other antivirus tools: Trojan Killer and Trojan Scanner.

Oh, why do this ad appear again and again? And there are even more of them! Blinking, with the absurd contents and 100% fake offers, they fill your browser so hard that you see it even on the home page. Which sort of curse does so?

Advertising-free Internet, how much better it would be! - No ads!
Advertising-free Internet, how much better it would be! - No ads!

What is adware?

Adware is, literally, an advertising software. That sort of program is created to show you the advertisements forcibly. To do so, viruses make several changes to your system - primarily, in the web browsers and in networking settings.

Networking in Windows is partially controlled by the HOSTS file. That file is kept in the system partition, and contains the information about DNS servers it must connect to connect to the server you need. Usually, all pages that are used by adware to show you the ads are shielded from the inside, in order to prevent those pages from being banned by a web browser. When you get your HOSTS file edited, your PC connects to one DNS address of the adware’s server which is not blocked for the connections.

Why Free Browser Extensions Can Be Dangerous
Why Free Browser Extensions Can Be Dangerous

Browser settings are changed for several reasons. First, viruses can change your homepage to fit several advertisements. Another possible change is blockage of your settings window. It is especially relevant in cases when adware is spread as a browser plugin. This action is done to prevent the web browser reset - an ultimate way to get rid of unwanted browser plugins.

Why do they do it?

Cybercriminals who manage adware make their money just like any other advertisers. There are two main differences between adware distributors and legit promoters: the persons who order these ads and the way those banners are paid. Usually, promoters are paid for each click on their advertisement. Meanwhile, fraudsters take contracts for pay-per-view ads. The price for each visitor is extremely small, but when you show it forcibly to a massive number of victims - there is nothing hard to earn thousands of dollars.

The difference of a character is much easier to understand. Will the legit company advertise itself with unlegit marketing tricks? Likely no. Hence, all ads adware forces you to see contains malicious contents, too. Usually, those contents are links, which redirect you to the unknown, and likely unwanted site. In some cases, the downloading may start after clicking those ads. And only fraudsters know what the program is downloading. You may get coin miner, another adware, browser hijacker or so. Regardless of the exact type of malware, it always is an unwanted consequence.

How can I get adware?

It is one of the most widespread types of malware. You can get it in about a dozen ways. Adware is spread through the malvertising, as a browser plugin, as a part of “useful utility” you have just installed. You may discover that your system is infected even after using some seeding applications, like uTorrent. Every day fraudsters discover more and more unobvious ways to get into your computer. And there is no reason for you to feel guilty - almost everyone sometimes needs to use questionable programs. And adware is not so dangerous if you remove it in time.

How bad adware can be?

6 Terrifying Samples How Marketers Use Adware
6 Terrifying Samples How Marketers Use Adware

Adware is not very dangerous itself. It makes too small changes to your system to make it malfunction exactly after the virus injection. However, if you remove it in an inappropriate way, and will not fix those changes, you will likely spectate various bugs in your web browser. Some problems may also appear in various apps with web-interface, because of the modified networking settings.

Latest adware market news:

Much more problems may be dealt by the advertisements adware shows to you. As you could read earlier, no legit companies will agree to an advertising contract with adware distributors. Hence, each ad can contain something malicious, and you never know which one and how dangerous this “something” is. Potentially unwanted programs, together with browser hijackers, will not make your files encrypted, like ransomware, for example, but it will bring chaos to your PC. Meanwhile, the trojan-miner activity will make your system impossible to use, and may even lead to hardware failures.

Is it possible to avoid adware installation?

Of course, just like with any other virus. You can make an easy conclusion about the countermeasures - don’t click the suspicious ads, avoid installing untrustworthy applications. Also it is recommended to check the installation window of each application, especially if it is freeware. However, these days the distribution form of “bundled installation” almostly disappeared after the majority of antivirus developers considered it one of the most popular malware sources.

Adware Everywhere: Who Knows What Is Happening?
Adware Everywhere: Who Knows What Is Happening?

Another way to prevent the virus installation is to use anti-malware software with a proactive protection function. That ability allows you to run any programs and open any files you want - an antivirus program will block the possibly malicious contents in case one is detected. Gridinsoft Anti-Malware can offer you this function - you can enable it in one click in the Protect tab.