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Adware is a short for advertising-supported software. Programs displaying advertising material fall under this category. Adware applications often automatically open a new pop-up window containing advertisements in an internet browser, or change the browser’s home page. Adware is frequently bundled with freeware programs, allowing their creators to cover development costs of their (usually useful) applications.

Adware itself is not dangerous – users will only be bothered with advertisements. Its danger lies in the fact that adware may also perform tracking functions (as spyware does).

If you decide to use a freeware product, please pay specific attention to the installation program. The installer will most likely notify you of the installation of an extra adware program. Often you will be allowed to cancel it and install the program without adware.

Some programs will not install without adware, or their functionality will be limited. This means that adware may often access the system in a “legal” way, because users have agreed to it. In this case, it is better to be safe than sorry. If there is a file detected as adware on your computer, it is advisable to delete it, since there is a high probability that it contains malicious code.