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If your browser starts bombarding you with flashy ads and pop-ups, you may have adware installed on your computer. At best this can ruin your browsing experience, but at worst it can also threaten your privacy. So what is adware, exactly? And how can you remove adware from your PC?
Mar 24, 2021 · 5 min read
Adware (also known as advertising supported software) is any application that distributes unwanted advertisements on your computer. It hijacks your browser, floods the interface with ads, and can make browsing almost impossible.
Is adware a virus? Adware is not considered as dangerous as malware like viruses, Trojans, or worms. However, when you have a suspicious program running on your device without your consent, you can never be sure that it won’t lead to problems later on. There are a couple of ways you might get adware:
Both Windows and macOS machines are vulnerable to adware, so you need to take proper precautions. Mobile adware is also a growing problem, and can appear on both iOS and Android devices.
Adware can monitor your activities, collect personal information, and sell it to marketers or cybercriminals. If hackers gather enough of your private information, they can use it to launch social engineering and phishing attacks.
There is a thin line between adware and spyware, as both can collect your data and monitor your browsing habits.
Since adware can feed you with advertisements and redirect you to suspicious websites, you can easily end up installing malware and infecting your device. Not all adware is meant to harm you, but it’s better not to try your luck. If you’ve noticed that your browser is acting strangely and you have a feeling there's an unwanted guest on board, it’s time for a cleanup.
If you have adware on your Mac, start by updating your operating system. If you’re already running the latest version, restart your computer as macOS has a built-in tool that removes known malware or adware.
Some malicious programs might be running in the background untraced. Here’s how to find them:
You can also check for any suspicious programs in your app list:
Windows will then scan your PC and automatically delete adware.
It might be worth checking to make sure a malicious program is not running in the background and wasting your computer’s resources:
You can also check programs installed on your device and delete the ones you don’t recognize:
You can also clear website data, which can also improve your browser’s health:
To remove adware and annoying pop-ups, we recommend restoring your Mozilla Firefox to default settings. This will delete any unwanted toolbars, extensions, or plugins.
To remove adware and annoying pop-ups, we recommend restoring your Chrome to default settings. This will delete any unwanted toolbars, extensions, or plugins.
Take your digital security and privacy into your own hands with a VPN.