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How to Get Rid of Adware and Protect Your Device

“Congratulations! You’ve won!” This sign appears on your screen as you draft an email. Not again, you think to yourself. If you are constantly being bombarded with unwanted advertisements on your computer or mobile device, it could be a sign of an adware infection. These types of ads can show up in the form of flashing banners, pop-ups, and videos. Below, we will teach you how to get rid of adware so you can get on with your day in peace.

What is Adware?

Adware comes from the term advertisement-supported software. It is any type of software that serves unsolicited ads and “accounts for 48% of all malware.” These ads generate revenue through user clicks.

Some adware is legitimate and is integrated into the website or program. However, malicious adware collects users’ data and makes them the target of even more unwanted ads.

Malicious adware hides in free software downloads and shows up on your device in discreet ways. For example, when you download a program, it may be infected with adware, which will in turn be installed on your computer along with the program you wanted to download. All of a sudden, you are being bombarded with ads left and right.

The Evolution of Adware

Adware first came into existence around 1995. Experts initially believed it to be spyware and people thought all adware was used to secretly collect their personal information. Over time, adware became more legitimate and users were given the option to download this by providing consent. Due to its increasing legitimacy, no one really monitored adware, giving rise to more malicious types.

What Can Adware Do to Your Computer?

Adware can affect your computer by slowing it down and installing viruses. The result? Your computer will crash. But it can also affect you, your employees, and your business. By clicking on these ads, hackers can get a hold of sensitive information and track your location and browsing history.

What Are the Red Flags?

Although adware likes to lurk quietly in the background, there are clues you can look for.

Here are some of the signs that your device may be infected with adware:

  • You consistently see unwanted ads
  • Your computer keeps crashing
  • Your computer is performing slower than normal
  • Slow internet connection
  • Webpages don’t display properly

How to Remove Adware

The best way to deal with adware is to prevent it. Having an antivirus system in place is an effective way to stop adware from being installed on company devices in the first place. While these following tips can be helpful, we recommend seeking the support of an IT professional to gain guidance and support in case anything goes amiss.

Step 1: Uninstall the Adware

There are different types of adware removal tools. You can use one of these to locate and uninstall the adware from your device. According to SoftwareKeep, some of the most popular adware removal tools for Windows users are Malwarebytes and MalwareFox.

Step 2: Refresh Your Browser

Once you have removed the threat, refresh your browser by clicking on the reload icon at the top of the window. Make sure the page loads properly and you are not seeing unwanted ads.

Step 3: Delete Cache and Cookies

Additionally, you may want to clear your cache and cookies, which are additional files that your web browser stores from visiting different websites. To do this, go to your browser’s history page and clear your browsing data.

Step 4: Routinely Scan Your Computer

Windows comes with Microsoft Defender Antivirus, which you can turn on to scan for threats periodically.

Step 5: Use an Antivirus Software

There are many antivirus solutions out there for small businesses. Invest in a program on all your devices to ensure that you and your team are protected from malicious adware.

We Can Help

Adware can seem like a scary thing and the last thing you need on top of day-to-day business items. That’s where PC Corp comes in. PC Corp Managed Services programs provide layered security to help prevent adware and other malicious programs from affecting your systems. Connect with us to learn more about how we can increase your network and systems security and help you solve your most critical IT challenges.

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