Adware infections can compromise both the usability of your computer and network usage.

Many people might ask if adware is a virus?  Does it delete my files? What do I do now that I have it?... Let’s break it down.

What is adware?

The term adware is frequently used to describe a form of malware (malicious software), which usually presents unwanted advertisements to the user of a computer. The advertisements produced by adware are sometimes in the form of pop-ups. It can be anything from a small add that looks like the normal page, just having more clickable links, to a new window promising to teach you how to become an instant millionaire.

When you realize you have been infected with any type of adware, you as the user, must try and minimalize usage with that computer and have it scanned for malware and adware as soon as possible.

How do I prevent adware infections?
To prevent adware from infecting your device you could use a variety of anti-malware programs, but the best way to prevent malware is always being alert to strange or suspicious websites. Be very careful when installing programs from any website that you do not trust.

Microsoft Security Essentials and Windows Defender might not identify all adware since it is not technically a virus, but still a type of malware. Depending on the severity of the adware, it might be removed or left alone. That doesn’t mean you can’t get rid of it yourself.

Be on the look-out and remove the following malicious programs/software:

  • Orbit (any programs from this developer)
  • Remarkit
  • Reg Cleaner (Pro)
  • PC Optimizer (Pro)
  • PC Speedup
  • Registry Doctor

Any misspelled/-labelled programs are a clear sign e.g. (SaaVer CoopUns, PrinTsaFerr, etc.)

The last thing to ensure, after cleaning your computer of adware infections, is to check that your program files are clean of all the left-over files associated with these adware/malware issues and to clean your browser add-on section of infections.

Contact your Campus IT Service Desk for any questions related to this article.

3 July 2015