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What is Adware?

Adware, or advertising-supported software, is the name given to any software package that features embedded advertisements.

The most common use of adware is found in software programs that are offered to users free as an alternative to premium versions. Advertisements are used legitimately as a way for developers to fund their programs and will usually be removed once the user upgrades to paid-for version. While this form of adware can be annoying at times, the ads used within the software pose no threat to the integrity of a system.

The other use of the term adware is used to describe strains of spyware, which collect information about the user to display targeted advertisements. This form of software can become intrusive and track your internet usage habits to serve ads. Adware in this case poses a threat to privacy and security, so must be eliminated using an antispyware engine and advert blocking.
This answer was last updated on 16-Jul-2014 11:09 AM.