Avoiding Adware

Adware is a program that will cause ads to pop up on your screen very often and will interfere seriously with the performance of your computer. It usually comes with another program that has another purpose such as a game program. It interferes with your computer by taking processing power to run and uses your connection to the internet to produce the ads, so your internet connection will operate more slowly for the things you are interested in using it for. Additionally, you will be constantly closing the popup ads rather than doing what you want to do.

Some companies that produce adware may actually have some dignity, however it is my belief that most do not. If they mention up front that programs you are installing contain adware so the user is aware of what they are getting, then it is legitimate. However many adware programs are hidden with other programs.

Adware is, in my opinion, one of the worst problems you can get on a computer system. This is because it can be very difficult to remove since its creators normally hide it. Therefore it usually requires someone with a technical background to remove it. However, the good news is that there are some programs that remove adware. Some are free and others may be purchased for a price. One of the worst problems with adware is that it may actually download and install other adware programs without the victim's knowledge. You may be able to remove one adware program only to find out later that you have another adware program which may again download and install the program you previously removed, among others.

Adware Removal

There are several techniques which I have used to remove adware. The first is a non technical method which requires the use of adware removal software. The other techniques require technical knowledge and this tutorial cannot cover all the methods employed.

  • Use an adware removal program to scan the system and remove adware. It may be necessary to boot the system to safe mode before doing this but you should follow the instructions that come with yuor software.
  • Use a personal firewall to do the following:
    • Prevent the adware programs from contacting the internet to produce the popups.
    • Prevent the adware from downloading new adware programs and installing them on your system.
    • Identify any adware program processes then do the following:
      • Use your task manager to stop them.
      • Once the processes are stopped, a technical person can search the registry by looking the name of the program such as "adwarename.exe" and remove registry entries that point to these programs, especially the ones that would attempt to run these programs.
      • Search your hard drive for these programs and delete them.

You can use your operating system task manager to identify processes running on your computer if your operating system is Windows 2000 or Windows XP. You can bring up your task manager by pressing the combination of keys, CTRL-ALT-DEL, at the same time. Then you can select the "Task Manager" button. An easier way to start your task manager is to right click on an open area of your task bar at the bottom of your screen, then select "Task Manager". Select the Processes tab.

Task Manager

In the process list, you do not need to worry about "System" or "System Idle Process". Other tasks can be searched for on your hard drive or searched for on your favorite search engine such as Gigablast to get some clues about what they do. Below are listed two websites that provide information about various processes.

Best Defense

Verify that all programs you are going to install on your computer system are safe. This is a simple process that usually takes between 10 to 30 minutes. Of course you may already know the reputation of the program creator such as Microsoft or Symantec. In this case you can be pretty sure the program is safe so long as it has not been tampered with and comes from a legitimate source. If it is downloaded be sure the download source has not modified the code. Some code comes with a certificate to validate that it is safe. Checking the safety of the program you want to install involves checking the product out on your favorite search engine such as Gigablast.

Adware programs that may help

Avoiding Internet Traps Tutorial Contents Page