From Installation to Execution: How Adware Does its Job

Adware or advertising-supported software is a type of malware that bombards users with unwanted ads. This malicious software can infiltrate your device without your knowledge and cause havoc by raining pop-ups, banner ads, and in-text ads at every turn. It's frustrating, annoying, and can even be dangerous since many adware types act as a gateway for other malicious software to enter your device. To avoid falling prey, you need to arm yourself with knowledge about how adware works.

## What is Adware?

Before delving into the working of adware, it's crucial to understand what adware is and how it differs from other types of malware. Adware is a type of software program that is designed to display ads on your device. It injects ads into your web browser or operating system and nags you to buy products, install software, or click on links. The intent is to generate revenue for publishers or advertisers by presenting users with targeted ads. Adware can exist as a standalone software program or as a bundled component of freeware or shareware applications.

Unlike viruses or trojans, adware doesn't try to steal your personal information or data. However, it can still cause damage to your device and privacy by collecting your browsing history, search queries, and other sensitive information. Also, adware can slow down your device and consume precious resources, making your system sluggish.

## How Does Adware Work?

Now that you know what adware is let's dive into how it works. Adware primarily relies on tracking your online behavior, analyzing it, and presenting you with targeted ads. There are two main ways that adware infiltrates your device and starts to work its malicious magic: via Bundled Software or Malicious Websites. Let's explore these in more detail:

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### Via Bundled Software

One of the primary ways that adware can infiltrate your device is through bundled software. Bundled software refers to software packages that contain several different pieces of software. Often, these pieces of software are unrelated, but they may have different purposes. Adware becomes part of the software package and is installed along with other software you intended to download. This method is prevalent with free or shareware software that is available to download online. Users often aren't fully aware of what they're downloading and just want the primary software.

Once installed, the adware software starts tracking your activity, analyzing your search queries, and logging your browsing history. It then uses this information to tailor ads to your browsing habits. The adware may also inject pop-ups, banner ads, or in-text ads on your web browser, on your desktop, or in your taskbar, prompting you to buy products or click on links.

### Via Malicious Websites

Adware can also infect your device when you visit malicious or compromised websites. Websites that have been hacked and infected with malware can unwittingly infect your device when you visit them.

The adware can also be part of a malicious link or email that you clicked on. Once infected, the adware can start tracking your online activity and showing you a constant stream of targeted ads that are based on your browsing history and search queries. It can also redirect you to spammy websites without your consent.

## How to Prevent Adware Infection?

Preventing adware infection is crucial to keep your device secure and preserve your privacy. Here are a few tips to help you prevent adware from infecting your devices:

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### Be Careful While Downloading Software

Avoid downloading free or shareware applications from untrustworthy sources. Always try to download applications from the original publisher's website or a reputable website. Read the terms and conditions carefully while installing new software and uncheck all unnecessary programs like toolbars or adware that comes bundled with the software.

### Keep Your Antivirus Up-to-date

Make sure you have antivirus software installed on your device and that it is up-to-date. New malware, including adware, is continually being developed that could infect your device. Antivirus software can help to defend against them.

### Use Adblockers

Adblockers or browser extensions are designed to block pop-ups, banner ads, and in-text ads. Using them can help to keep you safe from adware infection. However, keep in mind that many websites rely on Ad revenue to function, so using an ad-blocker can cause future website issues.

## Final Thoughts

Adware can be incredibly frustrating and annoying, but it's important to know how it works to avoid being infected. By being careful while downloading software, keeping your antivirus software up-to-date, and using adblockers, you can help keep your device safe from these malicious software programs. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

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