We've all been there, when you're typing up a Word document or checking your email and all of a sudden there's this little popup telling you your computer is infected and you need to clean it NOW! Only you don't have any anti adware software installed that you know of and you're wondering how the hell this little web popup knows you have an infected computer. Well, they don't, and this is just a perfect example of an adware publisher's latest attempts to get you to install software that has one purpose: to put ads in front of you when you're trying to get some f'ing work done! If your computer is slowing down, you're getting spam emails from websites you haven't visited, and you get obnoxious popups out of nowhere, it's time to do a little adware removal. This article is a no B.S. approach to getting rid of adware and keeping your computer free of adware for good.
Avoiding Adware & Removing Adware
Adware protection starts with avoiding P2P (peer-to-peer) software packages that install adware as part of the terms of their license. Such adware installing programs include, but are not limited to, Kazaa, eDonkey, iMesh, and Morpheus. Don't believe them when they tell you that they are anti adware or "nagware" as they call it these days. A very interesting research project on adware installation procedures in P2P software can be found here. Note that this project was funded by LimeWire.
Avoiding adware is as easy as avoiding offers from and visits to websites you're not familiar with. There are certain pieces of information stored by your web browser called cookies, and these cookies are what a lot of adware removal tools pick up in their scans. Cookies can be good and bad. Cookies are good if you appreciate the added convenience of your favorite sites remembering who you are. Cookies can be bad if website strips sensitive information from you and sells it to telemarketers. Trying turning your cookies off.
If you want to avoid inadvertently installing adware, spyware, or a virus, you'll avoid opening junk mail and spam no matter how tempting it may be. I keep two email addresses a gmail account and a hotmail account. Gmail is for personal contacts and Hotmail is for any time I need to register with a website, ensuring that junk mail (not to be confused with snail junk mail) is sent there and I'm not tempted to open it. Also, avoid any programs, ads, or banners that claim your computer is infected or offers you protection. They don't.
Some antivirus suites offer anti adware protections and features designed to keep adware problems to a minimum. I'm a big fan of Avast! anti-virus software because it's free and it doesn't seem to bog down my computer as much as Norton Antivirus does, but at the moment it doesn't provide any adware features. Some antivirus and internet security suites that do offer adware protection are McAfee Virus Scan, Norton Antivirus, and Trend Micro's PC-Cillin. Microsoft security essentials is another great option. That's what I use for both virus and adware/spyware protection.
The best free adware removal tool available on the internet is Ad-Aware SE Personal by Lavasoft. Every techie has this adware detector and adware removal software program installed on their computer. It's free, it's user friendly, and the adware detection database is constantly updated to make sure you don't become a victim of the latest tricks adware companies employ. Here's a link to Lavasoft's Ad-Aware SE Personal Edition.
Adware Removal and Detection Software
I don't trust any anti adware software company that wants to charge me money for their protection. Sure, this is how things work in the anti virus software industry, but adware is just not a big enough problem to require a charge for the service of detecting and removing it, especially on personal computers—businesses are a different story because they're often contain intranets (an internal network) that could cost money to be fixed after a nasty adware/spyware/virus/trojan infection. For now, it should be obvious that a free service given to you by companies like Lavasoft are actually a clever way of marketing, and they bank on the idea that a business owner downloads the personal version and likes it so much that they purchase the professional/business version to protect their network. The same applies to many other adware removal software suites and the companies who publish them. Take advantage of these deals and pick up a free adware suite today. You won't be sorry.