Adware is ad-supported software that is designed to offset the costs of the software production by offering advertising opportunities to the end-user. It usually comes bundled into software that a user installs or runs and is sometimes the reason how developers can offer software that costs nothing.

To a software developer, adware is a good thing as it monetizes their software. However, to a user it’s normal a nuisance, distraction or interruption. Adware allows ads to be played or displayed automatically or even downloaded without permission onto the user’s device.  Some adware can even act as a data collector.  It can track what sites the user visits and display ads that are relevant to their recent searches.

By not having some sort of free adware removal tool you are leaving yourself open to infection. These tools are designed to scan your device, look for adware and remove any traces of it leaving your device as clean as a whistle. The problem is most stand-alone adware programs don’t include real-time scanning, you have to manually scan your PC and therefore aren’t very effective at preventing the installation of adware, but they are great for one-off scans to remove any current adware on the device.

So how do you prevent the installation of adware? The first thing we suggest is to be very cautious when installing freeware or shareware from the internet, be sure to look out for bundled programs in the installation process. We highly recommend purchasing an anti-virus that offers real-time protection. This way you’ll be protected all the time your device is on.

If you believe that you are very savvy when it comes to using your computer or you don’t connect to the internet at all then a free anti-virus could work well. You can also install stand-alone adware, spyware and malware programs to ensure complete protection. Do make sure that scans are performed at the same time though, as this can severely impact the performance of your machine and could even cause it to crash.