In our last blog we discussed the increase in threats toward Mac technology over its Microsoft Windows counterparts. One area of where the expansion of threats has been at the highest is with Adware. Let’s take a closer look at Adware, including who is targeted and what to do if you find that your devices are infected.
What is Adware?
Adware is short for advertising supported software. You most definitely have experienced it if you’ve ever opened your browser and found pop ups, an overabundance of advertisements, or other intrusions attempting to direct you to another location. This type of intrusion is adware attempting to disguise itself as a legitimate ad, or piggyback on another program to trick you into installing it on your Mac, PC, tablet, or mobile device.Most users that find they have adware on their machine probably got it when they were downloading something else onto their device. Adware may look like an advertisement that claims you can lose weight fast, offers a free download, or even states a warning with more info if you click it. Once adware takes over your device, it may carry out all sorts of tasks such as analyzing the internet sites you visit and for how long. That data is then sold to a third party vendor that exploits this information.
How Do I Know If My Computer Is Infected?
Since adware can sit on a spectrum from being a pure annoyance to being a dangerous virus, it is a good idea to be able to recognize when your computer has been infected. Some of the most common indicators of the presence of adware include these symptoms: the browser homepage suddenly changes, programs crash, opening a new tab causes new ads to pop up, or possibly the homepage and browser may seem sluggish. (This slowdown may be caused by the memory it takes to load up the extra ads.)Another key indicator is the large amount of ads that will slide into view or pop up from nowhere. Many users mistakenly believe that their favorite stores have just started advertising more but in reality, it is the adware at work.
In our last blog we analyzed how Mac users are currently seeing a spike in threats such as adware. According to Malwarebytes online, “adware’s main intended victims are individuals, as opposed to businesses. And it follows the individual user across any path of opportunity, from Windows PCs and Macs, to mobile phones, and virtually all browsers.”
If you suspect that you have an adware infection on your computer, it is important to take several steps to remedy the infection.
Backup your files regularly.
Clear your browser’s cookies and browsing data.
Install respected malware removal software - the scanning feature can locate and remove any adware that has found its way to your device. Please be careful of the malware software you choose as some, less reputable versions may (ironically) have adware. You may want to conduct a simple Google search to obtain reviews, testimonials, and customer experiences.
If you are having trouble with adware drop us a line or contact us here at Spectra Networks for a comprehensive examination of the issues.