What Is AdWare and How Can You Stop It?
The frequency of cyberattacks is on the rice this past couple of years, mainly due to the fact that more people use computers than ever before. Attackers are more creative in their attempts too, which is why we’re seeing new types of attacks such as cryptocurrency mining bots and ransomware.
One of the more common types of cyberattack is called AdWare. What is it exactly? How can you avoid falling victim to AdWares? What to do when your computer gets infected? We are going to answer these questions in this article.
What is AdWare?
As the name suggests, the main purpose of an AdWare is to inject advertisement to your computer in a malicious way. Attackers who use AdWare aren’t necessarily targeting your personal data in most cases; they are more interested in getting your accidental ad clicks and thousands of views in an attempt to generate ad revenue.
As mentioned before, AdWare is relatively common. In most cases, this type of attack is more annoying than harmful to your computer. When the AdWare is running, you will be served ads – often with mischievous content and from bad sources – whenever you use a browser or perform other activities in your computer.
Some of the worse AdWares take control of your browser and redirect you to malicious websites whenever you try to access certain URLs. Other types of AdWare try to capture your browser history and cookies, mainly to better understand the type of ads the malware should serve you.
What to do when your computer gets infected?
First, you need to know how to spot the signs of an AdWare infection; they are pretty obvious. When you start getting too many pop-up ads or you feel your computer is infinitely slower than usual, you may be dealing with an AdWare infection.
There are other signs too. For example, your data consumption can be substantially higher than usual. Some AdWares will redirect you to the same site regardless of the URL you try to visit. Even worse, there are malwares that will hijack your entire computer; you’ll start seeing ads on your desktop and other programs as well.
When you spot these signs, run a thorough virus scan on your computer; don’t forget to update your antivirus database before the scan. Most antivirus programs can detect and remove AdWares effectively.
It is also necessary to check the list of programs you have installed. If you see programs that you don’t recognize, do a quick Google search and find out if that program is masking an AdWare in your computer.
Preventing Future Attacks
Preventing an AdWare attack is relatively easy. There are several simple things you can do to prevent an AdWare attack:
- Avoid installing software from the internet without full understanding of its source and usage.
- Prevent certain scripts from running; most browsers have a single setting for this.
- Watch out for clickable advertisements, especially when browse through sites without proper SSL security.
- Forget about all of those ads offering spyware checks. These ads are usually displayed as a warning to appear genuine.
Lastly, use a credible antivirus and make sure you keep your antivirus database up to date at all times. With these simple steps, you can stop worrying about AdWares infecting your computer.