Adware and Madware are advertising supported software that displays, typically unwanted advertisements, on your computer and mobile device, respectively. Adware uses your web browser to collect your history in order to target advertisements that seem tailored to your interests. Adware infections can span from a nuisance and annoyance, spamming you with pop-up ads, to outright malicious intent, with a malware download the goal of the intruding advertisement (you have a virus, click here to fix it).

The most common reason for adware is to collect information about you for the purpose of making advertising dollars. No matter what the adware is, it’s likely going to slow down your machine and/or even make it more prone to crashing while sucking time away from your goals and objectives of using that device.

Source: Norton

Additional Reading: Android Adware Tied to Undeletable Malware

Related Terms: Cookie, Malware

What does this mean for an SMB?

Adware is something that can get in the way of productivity and lower morale in the office space. By keeping your devices up to date with the latest Antivirus and Anti-Malware protections, you can lower the chances of adware getting onto your devices. Some important additional tips CyberHoot recommends to reduce the likelihood of being a victim of adware:
  • Keep systems up to date (OS, software, applications, etc);
  • Wisely choosing the websites that you visit.
      • If something seems spam-laden or slow to load, leave the website.
  • Never download apps unless they come from the official app store for your operating system.
  • Never download attachments from suspicious emails.
  • Never click on pop-up advertisements.
  • Educate employees and clients on the cybersecurity basics to create a “human firewall” for your company.

To learn more about Adware, watch this short 2 minute video:

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