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Adware

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.

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