There is an old adage that says “nothing in life is free”. This saying rings true when we consider the programs that contain spy-ware and ad-ware.
Spy-ware is a hidden part of a program that basically monitors the users browsing and use of the computer. It is a program that is designed to show the user pop-up ads (which we all know can be quite annoying) and also leaves a marked trail so that your e-mail can be targeted for solicitation from the companies that it is covertly advertising for. One is usually unaware of the presence of spy-ware so it often remains on your computer undetected for months until you use a spy-ware remover tool (software) to get rid of it.
Ad-ware is not so covert. It is usually downloaded by a user and arises when the user is installing a program. The presence of the ad-ware is defined in approval boxes that are usually pre-checked indicating that you are aware and approve of the ad-ware being installed. The ad-ware consists of the products that sponsor the program. If you download a file sharing program that offers free unlimited use, this program is paid for by the use of placing ads in the program. There is often spy-ware that accompanies the ad-ware so a person unwittingly gets a double dose of these programs when they download their “free” version of a specific program.
Some may ask, “What is the harm of having a few programs like this on my computer?” Well the programs themselves are not harmful, but the programs that the spy-ware and the ad-ware attach themselves to are affected. Upon closer examination one will find that these programs (ad-ware and spy-ware) need a specific program or programs to attach their files to in order to execute and perform what they were meant to. This uses up much needed space and memory. Ad-ware can also create a bond with the sponsor’s page and change the user’s home page accordingly. Spy-ware acts much like a Trojan virus and tries to remain undetected throughout its stay on your computer. In many instances you will try to open a program and be greeted by a pop-up that has been hidden in the program and the ad-ware has acted as a leech file and used this program to execute or activate it.
Ironically enough many programs that can be downloaded off of the Internet to rid a person of these irritating programs contain ad-ware and spy-ware so you will be getting a fresh dose of the offending programs.
There are programs that can be purchased to rid your computer of ad-ware and spy-ware and there are also certain virus scanners that see the hidden programs as Trojan viruses as they are being loaded onto your computer’s hard drive. Avast anti-virus is one such anti- virus program that lets the user know if there are traces of ad-ware being loaded within the new software you are adding. There is also a program called “Spy-bot Search and Destroy that picks up hidden instances of spy-ware on you computer. In regards to ad-ware, a program called Ad Aware has served people for years now as the leader in detecting and removing all traces of ad-ware from your computer.
One must be aware that once the ad-ware has been removed from certain programs, they will no longer function properly or in most cases they will not work at all. Be very selective in the ad-ware that you decide to remove and always remember that if it is a free program chances are that it is sponsored by the ads that are contained within it.