How You Get Adware and Spyware
Every time you use the Internet you open a door into your computer that hackers can use to sneak uninvited software into your system. In some cases, this software is relatively benign, if still annoying. This type of software is generally called Adware. However, a more insidious type of unwanted software can track your Internet use and access your personal information without your knowledge. This type of software is called Spyware. It is important that you be aware about what these types of software can do to your computer and your identity and how to prevent receiving this unwanted software.
Adware is usually not meant for truly malicious purposes. In its more benign forms it can simply lead to annoying pop-up ads appearing on your browser. Adware can also profile your online surfing and spending habits but generally will not go after your identification. At the very least, accidentally downloading adware can lead to a lot of annoying time in clicking out of unwanted ads. At the worst, it can cause your computer to slow down or even lock up.
In most cases adware is a legitimate source of revenue for companies who offer their software for a limited time as freeware. The adware shows up in the form of pop-up windows while you are using the freeware.
Both adware and spyware can enter your computer by being bundled into other software, frequently free software. This freeware might be a free email program or a computer game. Once you download the software you want, the bundled adware or spyware is activated onto your computer and begins doing its work.
Adware and spyware can also be downloaded in a manner called Drive-by Downloading. This method downloads the unwanted software by using misleading dialogue boxes during the download.