Definition - What does Adware mean?
Adware is free computer software that contains commercial advertisements. Adware programs include games, desktop toolbars or utilities. Commonly, adware is Web-based and collects Web browser data to target advertisements, especially pop-ups.
Adware is also known as freeware and pitchware.
Techopedia explains Adware
Adware is categorized as follows:
- Legitimate: Free or trial product sponsored advertisements
- Spyware: Tracks user website preferences and compromises privacy
Adware may appear innocuous and provide users with legitimate business software but then unleash spyware that collects browser search data for targeted user-specific advertisements.
Uninstalling adware generally requires anti-adware software. A variety of free and paid versions are available, but licensed adware is the most reliable, aggressive and recommended. Anti-adware software is also included in virus scanning packages.