Why Should Anyone Know About Adware?

By: Josh George

Adware has created quite a name for itself. While people consider it to be a form of stress and a threat to their computer, adware has affected the Internet in a positive manner. So why does it matter to know about adware? To be brief, adware has single-handedly made a dramatic impact on the Internet, both in a good and bad manner.

The media has used the term adware to mean so many different things that people mainly consider it to strictly be a malicious program. What is important to know is that adware is not malicious in of itself. Spyware and malware, on the other hand, are designed with malicious intentions. This is obviously where the media confuses things. In their stories, the media usually categorize threats as "adware" when in fact they should be using terms like "spyware" or "malware". Adware's initial intention was just to change the paradigm in which advertisements were delivered to users.

Because adware was designed to send advertisements in a unique manner, there was much money to be made by simply adding adware to whatever was being developed. Before you knew it, the funding provided by adware was conjuring new forms of software, such as freeware and shareware. The whole idea of being able to download and use software for free also helped create a paradigm of its own; online communities. Users and developers started collaborating with one another to make free software better and more functional, and thus rival commercial competitors.

At the same time, adware can be considered as a downfall of the Internet. While adware was funding all sorts of different projects, it was also starting to get on people's nerves. Adware started to become more abusive and started to pop up advertisements on people's computers more often. In addition, people started putting their own forms of adware in places where people would never expect it, such as in commercial products and websites. What once used to be a new advertising medium has now become a disaster.

Then the hackers and malicious software programmers jumped into the scene. They started to make their own versions of adware that were more unethical in nature. As businesses became more desperate, they turned to developers which would develop a different breed of adware. Instead of just creating standard pop up advertisements on people's computers, this adware would track people's browsing habits as well as various other things. This art of tracking brought forth a new breed of adware: spyware.

The evolutions of adware didn't stop there though. Taking the theory of bundling adware with software, hackers started removing the advertising aspects entirely out of adware to make them more stealth-like and difficult for users to identify. More and more often you would hear about viruses, Trojans, worms and the like being bundled with free software without the knowledge of users and developers. With a goal to just infect and destroy as much as possible, malware started entering computers worldwide.

Fortunately, things started to look better for adware and its affects on the Internet. Security experts started collaborating with each other to deliver cost-effective and free security software to eliminate malware and spyware, which became financially available to Internet users through legitimate adware. Now, you can find tons of security software freely available on the Internet, a lot of which rivals commercial counterparts.

Currently, adware is still seen as a threat and considered more of a nuisance than anything else. Fortunately, with plenty of adware removal solutions freely and commercially available now, people can now control the types and amount of adware they want on their systems.

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